Former police chief Gordon Anglesea found guilty of historical child sex abuse

Gordon Anglesea would force teenage boys to exercise naked, watch them in the shower and abuse them

Gabriel Samuels
Friday 21 October 2016 20:34
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Former superintendent Gordon Anglesea was found guilty of four charges of assault at Mold Crown Court
Former superintendent Gordon Anglesea was found guilty of four charges of assault at Mold Crown Court

A former police chief who forced teenage boys to exercise naked and spied on them showering before assaulting them has been found guilty of historical sex offences.

Former superintendent Gordon Anglesea, who worked in Wrexham in north Wales, was convicted of one charge of indecent assault against a boy and three charges of indecent assault against another.

The separate incidents took place between 1982 and 1987, against victims who were aged 14 or 15 at the time and lived “chaotic” lives. Anglesea had denied all the charges made against him.

Anglesea ran a Home Office attendance centre in Wrexham in the 1980s where teenage boys convicted of petty crime would be given a "short, sharp, shock" of military-style physical training, marches and parade sessions along with woodwork classes on Saturday afternoons.

The jury heard how the victims were forced to do naked sit-ups and squat thrusts. Anglesea was “answerable to no-one” at the centre and would loiter while the boys were showering.

One of the victims accused Anglesea of "grabbing him by the hair" and indecently assaulting him on one occasion, calling him "scum" and telling him he had the "power to send him away".

At Mold Crown Court, Anglesea told the jury he was the victim of a malicious "conspiracy of lies" by men bitter about how their lives had turned out and motivated by getting compensation, while his defence lawyer accused the victims of “crocodile tears”.

Giving evidence from the witness box, one victim, now in his 40s, told the court how the attacks by Anglesea had “ruined his life”.

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

Outside court, Ed Beltrami, chief crown prosecutor for Wales, said: "Gordon Anglesea abused a position of power and authority in order to prey on very young and vulnerable victims.

"I would like to thank the victims, survivors and witnesses who had the courage to come forward and provide important evidence in this case. Anglesea's conviction today is a direct result of the prosecution being able to call on first-hand accounts of what happened.

"Operation Pallial continues to have success in bringing perpetrators of abuse against children to justice and today's conviction of Gordon Anglesea represents another important milestone in that process.

"I hope that it will also prove to be a meaningful step in the recovery process of his victims, who have had to live with what happened for a long time before seeing their abuser brought before the court."

Judge Geraint Walters granted Anglesea bail until he is sentenced, at a date to be fixed, but confirmed would be going to jail.

The jury also heard how Anglesea was accused of having "a connection" to notorious North Wales paedophiles John Allen, Gary Cooke and Peter Howarth, who were part of a ring operating in the region using children's homes as cover for their abuse.

In 1994, Anglesea won damages of £375,000 in a joint action against The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, HTV and Private Eye, which were ordered to pay his legal costs after the publications suggested he had been involved with the paedophiles.

Anglesea, now 79, began his police career in 1957 in Cheshire after serving in the Royal Air Force, before being transferred to Wrexham in 1976 where he was promoted to the rank of inspector.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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