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The judge who spent three years investigating child abuse in North Wales was surprised to hear that his inquiry had not heard key evidence.
That's the claim from a former ITV journalist who met Sir Ronald Waterhouse a year after he completed his report. Paddy French says a potential key witness warned of abuse allegations years earlier
In an exchange at First Minister's questions, Plaid Cymru's leader, Leanne Wood, condemned the media's reporting of fresh allegations of child abuse at north Wales children's homes in the 1970s and 1980s. Carwyn Jones replied that it had 'bordered on hysteria'.
Assembly Members from each of the four political parties have written a joint letter urging the Chief Constable of North Wales Police to call on the help of officers from outside the force to investigate its handling of historic child abuse allegations.
Mark Polin has asked Keith Bristow, the head of the National Crime Agency, to review the original investigations. But the Agency doesn't yet have its own officers so Mr Bristow would need to rely on the assistance of those from the North Wales force.
I've been given a copy of the letter from four Assembly Members, who all represent constituencies in the North, say they don't think that would be appropriate because some of the allegations implicated North Wales officers. Here's the text of the letter:
- Aled Roberts AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for North Wales
- Ann Jones AM, Labour Assembly Member for Vale of Clwyd
- Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for North Wales
- Mark Isherwood AM, Conservative Assembly Member for North Wales
Several copies of the previously unpublished report into abuse at North Wales care homes have been found in local authority archives.
The Jillings report was commissioned by Clwyd County Council in 1994, but was never made public because the council feared legal action.
Over recent days the story has been in the headlines, with allegations that the Waterhouse Inquiry into the abuse scandal, published in 2000, did not go far enough.
Steve Messham is committed to co-operating with the new inquiry into sexual abuse in care homes around North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s, according to his lawyer Mike Gray.
A former resident of a care home in North Wales has apologised for mistakenly identifying former senior Conservative politician Lord McAlpine in an historic abuse case.
Steve Messham released a statement via the Bureau of Investigative Journalism website tonight.
In the statement, he says: "I want to offer my sincere and humble apologies to [Lord McAlpine] and his family."
He adds: "This is not the person I identified...in the early 1990s."
Lord McAlpine spoke out earlier today saying the allegations linking him to the abuse were "wholly false and seriously defamatory".
Latest ITV News reports
A judge who spent three years investigating child abuse in North Wales 'was surprised to be told his inquiry had not heard key evidence.'
The Children's Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler, said he's handling 66 separate cases following North Wales abuse scandal.