John Allen trial: Children's homes boss found guilty on seven more counts of sexual abuse

Jury failed to reach verdicts on other charges

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The Independent Online

A former children’s homes boss could die in prison after he has been found guilty of a further seven charges of sexually abusing youngsters in north Wales over a period of four decades. John Allen, 73, had denied 40 counts of sex abuse against 19 boys and one girl from 1968 to 1991 but was found guilty of seven offences on Thursday in addition to the 26 he was convicted for on the previous day.

The jury at Mold Crown Court were discharged after failing to reach verdicts on the other charges.

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Justice Openshaw told jurors he was prepared to accept verdicts by a majority verdict and they later returned verdicts on six further charges by a majority. The judge said there is no prospect of re-visiting the remaining charges after the jury had deliberated for more than week.

The 20 former residents of Bryn Alyn Community children’s homes in and around Wrexham spent four weeks giving evidence against Allen. They were aged between seven and 15 at the time.

Allen’s conviction is the first since detectives launched Operation Pallial, the ongoing National Crime Agency investigation into recent allegations of abuse in the care system in North Wales.

Ed Beltrami, chief crown prosecutor for CPS Wales, said Allen had been convicted of a “shameful catalogue of abuse”.

Ian Mulcahey, senior investigating officer for Operation Pallial, said it was a large and complex ongoing investigation.

He said: “At the moment we are investigating allegations received from 236 people. The investigation is ongoing and I want to assure the public that we will continue to take allegations seriously and I would like to finish by saying that I would like to thank all those victims who came forward and played a part in putting John Allen where he belongs – which is behind bars.”

Allen will be sentenced on Monday.