Multiple powerful establishment figures accused of heinous child sex crimes were unafraid before – but now live in fear of exposure
By Eileen Fairweather
On Friday night a victim of the North Wales children’s homes abuse scandal told BBC Newsnight he was prostituted in care by a senior Tory politician.
Steven Messham, now 51, had first publicly named this man 15 years ago at Sir Ronald Waterhouse’s 1997 judicial inquiry into the care scandal.
But the Press was barred from reporting his shocking allegation.
I helped expose the North Wales scandal that led to the inquiry.
It is now agreed that at least 650 victims were horribly abused physically and sexually in nearly 40 care homes over 20 years.
Over several months at the inquiry, hundreds poured out their pain into a stark, modern, mostly deserted council chamber in the remote small town of Ewloe, far from the rich men’s worlds of Westminster and Fleet Street.
But the Press bench was mostly empty.
Some tearfully described being raped or prostituted not just by staff but police officers, businessmen and politicians.
But reporting restrictions meant that the Press was barred from naming unprosecuted allegations.
Only seven staff were ever prosecuted and allegations against the powerful outsiders who allegedly picked up children outside the homes were never investigated by police or the inquiry, whose terms of reference were limited.
The courage and heart-breaking testimony of those who gave evidence therefore mostly went unreported.
The powerful establishment figures accused there of terrible crimes remained unafraid.
Now some ARE afraid. If you think Savile was conspiracy, the dam is about to burst on even bigger cover-ups.
The recent shocking revelations about how Savile and his pervert pals preyed for decades on defenceless youngsters in care homes and hospitals has made Britain realise that paedophile rings really do exist.
And they ARE probably protected by corrupt officials and police, not just by naivety.
For the past four decades, thousands of young people in care across Britain have described similar abuse and prostitution. Many have been dismissed as disturbed or just wanting compensation pay-outs.
Inquiries were held but their findings ignored, and no one joined the dots and asked if this was a form of well-organised crime.
The Savile scandal – which involves children of all classes and the sick, not just impoverished children abandoned to care – has made Britain ask: What if they were telling the truth all along? And what if some abusers were at the heart of Britain’s Establishment?
At least 16 lads from these homes died in tragic or unexplained circumstances, several after revealing abuse. I vividly remember ringing the tribunal and asking if it would be investigating these deaths.
A very self-satisfied functionary told me it would not be and, when I angrily asked why not, he replied with an almost visible smirk:
‘Well, if they’re dead they can’t give evidence, can they?’