Ex-police chief faces jail for historical sex abuse against two boys

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A retired police chief who won £375,000 damages after being branded a paedophile by newspapers will be jailed today for historical sex crimes against two young boys.

Former Superintendent Gordon Anglesea, 79, used his position and "connections with authority" to molest his two victims, while running a "naughty boy school" in North Wales in the 1980s.

He escaped justice for 30 years and sued for libel when the Press linked him to paedophiles but was convicted last month after a trial of four counts of indecent assault between 1982 and 1987, against two boys, both aged 14 or 15 at the time.

Father-of-five Anglesea, of Colwyn Bay, whose defence was funded by the Police Federation, was accused of having "a connection" to notorious North Wales paedophile John Allen and others who were part of a paedophile ring operating in the region using children's homes as cover for their abuse.

Anglesea, a police inspector in Wrexham in the 1980s, 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.

Anglesea would "inspect" the parade, make the youngsters do naked sit-ups and squat thrusts, then loiter around the showers "with a smirk on his face".

Three of the assaults took place at the attendance centre, against one boy who was "last back to the showers" after a cross-country run, the jury heard.

The other victim said he was first sexually assaulted by Allen while in care and living at the Bryn Alyn home and the abuse sometimes involved other adults when he was "handed around like a handbag".

On one occasion at a house in Mold, Anglesea "grabbed him by the hair" and forced him to perform oral sex on him, calling him "scum" and telling the boy he had the "power to send him away".

Witnesses told the jury Anglesea became a regular visitor to the Bryn Alyn Children's Home in Wrexham, run by Allen, who was first convicted of child sex offences in 1995 and was jailed for life in 2014 for sexually abusing 18 boys and one girl in his care.

Suspicions against Anglesea had first been raised in the media in 1991 when he was named as a regular visitor to children's homes, who had resigned suddenly and without explanation from his police job as questions about abuse in homes were growing.

But 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 sizeable legal costs.

During a six-week trial at Mold Crown Court he claimed to be a victim of post-Jimmy Savile witch-hunt motivated by a conspiracy of lies to claim compensation.

Judge Geraint Walters granted Anglesea bail after he was convicted, but warned him he will be going to jail when he passes sentence later today.