Operation Pallial: Care homes abuse suspect charged

A 71-year-old man has been charged with 32 serious sexual offences by detectives investigating allegations of historical child abuse in north Wales.

John Allen, of Ipswich, Suffolk, was re-arrested on Wednesday when he answered bail in north Wales.

The charges include 22 indecent assaults and one offence of gross indecency, alleged to have taken place between 1968 and 1989.

He is in custody and is due to appear before Mold Magistrates on Thursday.

First charges

After answering bail, Mr Allen was interviewed further by officers from Operation Pallial - the investigation into allegations of historical abuse at care homes in north Wales - before being charged.

Operation Pallial confirmed they were the first charges to be brought under the investigation.

Karen Mullin, senior crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Wales, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service is working alongside Operation Pallial as this major investigation into historical sexual abuse in north Wales moves forward.

"I can confirm that, having carefully considered the evidence gathered so far, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge John Allen with a total of 32 serious sexual offences, and that it is in the public interest to do so.

"We have therefore authorised Operation Pallial to charge Mr Allen with these offences."

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1968 and 1989 against 15 boys and girls aged between seven and 15.

Alleged victims are being updated on the investigation, Operation Pallial officers said.

Ms Mullin added: "John Allen now stands charged with criminal offences and it is important that nothing is put into the public domain that may undermine either the ongoing police investigation or the defendant's right to a fair trial."

Operation Pallial is led by Keith Bristow, director general of the National Crime Agency - which is replacing the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

He said 187 people were now speaking to investigators about alleged abuse.

Mr Allen is one of four men arrested.

The others remain on police bail while investigations continue.

Anyone with information can contact the incident room on 0800 1181199.

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