North East Wales

Gordon Anglesea: Paedophile ex-police boss gets 12 years

Gordon Anglesea being led away in handcuffs

A former North Wales Police superintendent has been jailed for 12 years for historical child sex abuse.

Gordon Anglesea, 79, from Old Colwyn, was convicted of one charge of indecent assault against one boy and three indecent assaults against another.

The offences took place between 1982 and 1987, when both boys were 14 or 15.

Jailing him at Mold Crown Court on Friday, Judge Geraint Walters said Anglesea "grossly abused" the trust placed in him by the boys.

"The consequences for them has been profound, indeed life changing," he added.

Anglesea's defence said custody would be "extremely difficult" for him.

During the six-week trial, the court heard one boy was abused in the showers of a Home Office attendance centre in Wrexham run by Anglesea, who was a police inspector at the time.

Image copyright Daily Post Wales/National Crime Agency

Eleanor Laws QC, for the prosecution, told the court one of Anglesea's victims had tried to kill himself.

In a victim impact statement, he said he tried to commit suicide "simply because I couldn't bear to live with the memories of what that man did to me".

Another victim, who was sent to Bryn Alyn care home at the age of 13, described how he had felt fearful of Anglesea even as an adult.

He said: "Of all my abusers, Anglesea was the worst. He was the one I feared the most."

Anglesea wiped his eye as he heard one victim had started drinking at the age of 14 and had been an alcoholic all of his adult life.

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Media caption"A kiss goodbye, as Gordon Anglesea arrived at court to be sentenced" - Sian Lloyd reports

North Wales Police Chief Constable Mark Polin apologised to the victims whose lives Anglesea had "traumatically affected".

Mr Polin said Anglesea had abused a position of power and trust and his actions were "reprehensible" and "unacceptable".

He told BBC Wales that while it had taken a "long time" for justice to be served, there was no evidence of any misconduct or systemic failings by the force.

"I expect abusers in north Wales and elsewhere to be looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives, I think time has caught up with Gordon Anglesea," he said.

Roy McComb, National Crime Agency deputy director for specialist investigations, said Anglesea abused children who "should have been safe in his presence".

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Media captionPrivate Eye editor Ian Hislop describes the time he lost a libel case to Gordon Anglesea for branding him a paedophile as "grim".

Ed Beltrami, chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Wales, said the sentence was a "testament" to the fortitude of those who came forward.

Anglesea was arrested in 2013 as part of the National Crime Agency's Operation Pallial investigation into historical abuse across north Wales.

Tania Griffiths, defending, argued Anglesea had not had a fair trial and the verdicts were "perverse" and "unsafe".

He was also found not guilty of an alternative charge of a serious sexual assault.

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Media captionEd Beltrami, of Crown Prosecution Service Wales, said Anglesea abused his position of trust and preyed on people he believed were vulnerable

In 1994, Anglesea was awarded £375,000 in libel damages after media organisations ran stories about his links to abuse at children's homes in north Wales.

He is expected to appeal against the conviction.

NSPCC Wales said Anglesea had "robbed his victims of their childhoods".

Gordon Anglesea: A timeline

Image copyright Andrew Price
  • 1967 - Anglesea starts work as a police officer in Cheshire. He later resigned following a marriage breakdown and joined Flintshire constabulary
  • 1976 - Promoted to inspector in Wrexham and in 1978 becomes responsible for the Bromfield area which included the Bryn Estyn children's home
  • 1978 - Sets up a Home Office attendance centre in Wrexham
  • 1988 - Becomes a superintendent in Colwyn Bay
  • 1991 - Retires suddenly after 34 years' service. Independent On Sunday runs an article about Anglesea's connections with Bryn Estyn. Similar stories follow in the Observer, Private Eye and on HTV Wales
  • 1994 - Sues the four media organisations for libel and is awarded £375,000 in damages
  • 1997 - Answers questions about allegations of sexual abuse before the north Wales child abuse tribunal
  • 2000 - The Waterhouse report says allegations about Anglesea had not been "proved to our satisfaction"
  • 2014 - Arrested and bailed by officers from Operation Pallial, an investigation into child abuse in north Wales care homes
  • 2015 - Charged with historical sex offences

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