News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Operation Pallial – Former North Wales children’s home boss jailed for nine years for sexually abusing young boys

The former Deputy Superintendent of a children’s home in North Wales has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of sexually abusing young boys in the 1970s.

Huw Meurig Jones, aged 69, from Old Colwyn, was convicted of ten offences, including buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency, following a National Crime Agency investigation.

The offences took place between 1975 and 1978, when Jones was the Deputy Superintendent at Little Acton Assessment Centre, Wrexham, and when he was a social worker in the Colwyn Bay area.

The victims, two males aged between 13 and 15 at the time of the offences, were preyed upon by Jones at the Assessment Centre and also at his home address.

Jones was convicted and sentenced yesterday, Tuesday 12 March following a four-day trial at Mold Crown Court.

Andy Sandham, Deputy Senior Investigating Officer from the NCA, said:

“Jones should have been responsible for taking care of young children. Instead he abused his position and caused lasting damage to these vulnerable boys.

“I would like to commend the bravery of the victims while giving evidence in court and during the years they have waited for justice. We will continue our work to bring justice to those who were wronged at such a young age all those years ago.”

Operation Pallial, the independent NCA investigation into allegations of past abuse in the care system in North Wales, began in November 2012 at the request of Mark Polin, who was the Chief Constable of North Wales Police.

Huw Jones is the 12th person to be convicted under Operation Pallial.

There are three further trials under operation Pallial scheduled to begin this year and in early 2020.

In the six years the operation has been running, 375 people have made contact with the NCA team.

Investigations into the evidence provided by 257 of them have concluded and details provided by 43 complainants are either with the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration of charges, or are part of active investigations.

In 73 instances, the complainant has either been unable, or has declined, to pursue their allegation.

The offences reported occurred between 1953 and 1995, with victims ranging from six to 19 years old at the time.

The investigation has identified 146 suspected offenders, the majority in respect of sexual offending against boys. Of these suspects, 23 have been arrested to date, 42 have been interviewed under caution following voluntary attendance, and 43 suspects are believed to have died.

So far, 21 suspects have been charged, of which matters have concluded against 19.

Any member of the public wishing to report new allegations of past abuse in the care system in North Wales should call North Wales Police on 101.

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