John Allen had acquired, in 1968, the lease for 21 years of Bryn Alyn Hall, a substantial property in Llay New Road on the outskirts of Wrexham, with 50 acres of land and, although he had had no formal training of any kind, he had opened Bryn Alyn Hall as a children's home for up to 20 boys in the age range of 11 to 16 years. He had started with three boys from north east England and one from Liverpool and had circulated a booklet about his project to most of the local authority children's departments in England and Wales.
The main house was enlarged and divided after the freehold had been acquired and an additional residential establishment was built near the house. The three parts of the property were then called Askew House, Blackley House and Lindisfarne.
Additional schoolrooms were built on the property with further classrooms later added in the form of portacabins as well as utilising Wilderness farm as an auxiliary teaching base.
1976 Anthony David Taylor was convicted on 6 January at Talgarth Magistrates' Court of two offences of indecent assault upon boys staying with the Bryn Alyn Community. He was fined £20 for each offence.
1986 Iain Muir, who was Deputy Headteacher of the Community school in the mid 1980s, was convicted on 22 July 1986 in the Crown Court at Mold of an offence of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 years, for which he received a sentence of six months' imprisonment, whereupon he was dismissed.
The victim of this offence who gave oral evidence to the Tribunal, was resident at Bryn Alyn Hall for just over three years from October 1982 and attended school there. She was 15 years old when she left.
1988 Kenneth John White was accused of violence against a male resident. White was removed from residential care duties and no prosecution was pursued.
In 1991, White returned to Residential duties when he accepted position of Deputy Head at Gatewen Hall, following the departure of Lynn Williams.
In 1995, John Ernest Allen, the founder of the Bryn Alyn Community residential schools, was convicted of six offences of indecent assault against six young male residents at the schools between 1972 and 1983. He was acquitted of four other counts of indecent assault involving four different residents and a further 36 charges were not allowed to be filed. The Judge ruled "Allen would not receive a fair trial in light of his convictions."
Allen received a total sentence of just six years' imprisonment.
One resident of the Community described a catalogue of abuse which followed him through each of the homes as he got older.
He claimed to have been abused by John Allen at Bryn Alyn Hall, Pentre Saeson, Bryntirion Hall, Allen's house (Gwastad Hall, where the resident often stayed), at the Poyser Street studio and on group holidays to the Bryn Alyn property in St Florien, near Bordeaux.
1998 Richard Dafydd Vevar, formerly a care worker employed by the Bryn Alyn Community, was charged in July 1998 with offences of buggery and indecent assault against a girl.
On 23 June 1999 he was acquitted by a jury of the allegations of buggery but they were unable to reach verdicts on the other counts. At a later hearing the Judge entered verdicts of not guilty in respect of these other counts.
Keith Allan Evans was employed by the Community from April 1974, when he was nearly 30 years old until 30 June 1996. Before that he had served in the army for six years, driving armoured tanks reaching the rank of corporal, and then for seven years as a machine tool operator with a Wrexham firm. His introduction to the Community was through a former sergeant, who was already on the staff, and he understood that he was to organise and run outward bound type courses. Evans' work, however, was that of a Residential Child Care Officer during the week and he was only involved in outward bound activities at week-ends and during holidays. He had no professional qualifications. According to his written statement, he progressed after about three years to Deputy Team Leader at Bryn Alyn Hall and then to Team Leader in or about 1980. He remained at Bryn Alyn Hall thereafter, rising to Senior Principal Officer from 4 January 1982 and to Head of Care from 7 June 1989. He had to revert to Principal Officer in June 1994 because new regulations disqualified him from holding the higher appointment, although he had undertaken some in service training by then.
Evans was suspended for six days in August 1995 as the result of a slapping incident for which he received a written warning and he left the Community ten months later after a protracted argument about working shifts, although his own view, according to his statement, was that he was on sick leave until the Community went into liquidation in March 1997. There were a further five complaints of physical abuse against Evans.
Evans was known to often employ the use of punishments such as Scrubs. "Scrubs" involved wearing a vest, shorts and black pumps, with no socks or shoe laces, and working at a variety of unpleasant menial tasks without gloves and often with inappropriate equipment such as a toothbrush.
Waterhouse' conclusion in regard to the events surrounding Evans are as follows:
21.87 The comparative sparseness of the allegations against Evans when measured against the length of his service with the Community, the number of children passing through his hands and the nature of his role does not suggest that he was guilty of physical abuse. Despite his lack of professional training, he was quite an impressive witness, who gave a helpful account of the Community's activities, and the evidence before us does not establish that he used excessive force towards the children for whom he was responsible or that he condoned such conduct by other members of the staff.
Peter Steen was accused of numerous counts of violence whilst based at Bryn Alyn Hall although it is unclear as to wether or not charges were filed.
Another member of staff, unnamed, was under police investigation for alleged sexual abuse during the Tribunal's hearings and until his death in August 1998
There were very few complaints by residents of Bryn Alyn Hall against identified members of the staff after 1986
50.10 During this same period between 1981 and 1989 allegations against five other residential child care workers in Clwyd were investigated by the police but only one of the five was alleged to have committed sexual offences. The other four were Frederick Rutter (Bryn Estyn, 1983), Paul Wilson (Chevet Hey, 1985), Kenneth White junior (Bryn Alyn, 1988) and Y (Ysgol Talfryn, 1989): each was alleged to have committed a physical assault or assaults on a boy in care but none of the four was prosecuted for reasons that have been stated in the cited passages of our report, where known to us.
50.11 The fifth person in Clwyd investigated by the police in this period but not prosecuted was David Evans, who was alleged to have indecently touched two girl residents at Park House in 1989. In that case the Crown Prosecution Service advised that there was insufficient evidence to support a charge of indecent assault in respect of either girl.