Award-winning journalist who helped expose the North Wales child abuse scandal calls for a proper police investigation
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?'
I lost my professional cool and slammed down the phone and cried.
To this day no one has looked into how and why all those boys died.
Steven Messham's inquiry allegation on April 21 1997 may never be proven.
He admits he has spent time in a psychiatric hospital and received counselling, and he did not even give the inquiry the man's first name or describe him then as a politician.
He just knew that the man who abused him in posh cars and once at a hotel used by the local paedophile ring was wealthy enough to have his own driver. Young prostituted boys rarely know politicians' names or faces.
Another man who was also prostituted as a child in care in North Wales was shown a photo of the politician by another reporter and said he abused him.
I met and liked this former rent boy. But he knew that memory can play tricks and that such gossamer-thin "evidence" would hardly stand up in court.
It would be libellous and morally wrong to name the politician, given that the allegation against him has never been tested under cross-examination in open court.
But Steven's story makes one wonder what police might have found if they had really looked.
He claims police failed to put most of what he said about the politician and other man into his witness statement.
Steven Messham has asked to see David Cameron, and says these allegations ARE so serious that they must finally be made the subject of a proper police inquiry.
Much of the abuse took place at Bryn Estyn Children's Home in Wrexham, known to people as "Colditz".
All seven staff convicted of abuse were apparently picked for their similar tastes by the home's head Peter Howarth, who was jailed for 10 years in 1994 and died in prison.
Like other residents, Steven described being abused by a senior police officer who often visited Bryn Estyn. He sometimes gave him money afterwards.
On Friday's Newsnight, Steven also revealed the abuse extended outside the care home, saying: "In the home it was the standard abuse which was violent and sexual. Outside it was like you were sold, we were taken to the Crest Hotel in Wrexham, mainly on Sunday nights, where they would rent rooms.
"One particular night I always recall is when I was basically raped, tied down, and abused by nine different men."
Seven relatively lowly male care workers were convicted following an inquiry by North Wales police which many mistrust.
Victims say that a key figure in North Wales police was an abuser too and led a cover-up, while social services ignored complaints, victimised concerned staff, and aggressively suppressed 12 increasingly critical inquiry reports.
The outstandingly brave chairman of the council's social services committee, Labour councillor Malcolm King, was threatened by police, the council and their insurers with prison, bankruptcy, libel suits and forfeiting his home if he leaked the final devastating report by John Jillings to the Press.
Only 12 copies of the Jillings report were published and each was watermarked so the source of any leak could be identified. All were later pulped.
I wrote out the report's 300 pages by hand, to protect my source. It took me three days and, by agreement, I anonymously fed different sections to different papers. So did another whistleblower.
The resulting media firestorm led to the Waterhouse Inquiry.
Judge Waterhouse was horrified by the survivors' testimony, and his 1,000-page report is highly regarded.
Yet what people abused in these recurring care scandals really want is proper police investigation and arrests.
But to this day there has been no response to calls by the North Wales victims for a new investigation by an outside police force.
Steven's story makes clear why one is needed.
The Jersey bloggers have stepped in where our Media were to scared or were unable to tread. members of the public armed with the internet have exposed the Cover-up
Paedophile scandal: Three victims name Tory bigwig as one of their abusers
The man – a senior political figure in the Thatcher era – is alleged to have arrived in a chauffeur-driven car to abuse boys at a notorious children’s home.
Experts believe this could be just the tip of the iceberg, as pressure grows for a major police investigation into what could be the biggest network of paedophiles ever uncovered in Britain.
Sources say the abuse scandal has far-reaching implications, with links to almost every area of public life including government.
Victim Steven Messham, 51, told the BBC’s Newsnight team he was raped by a senior politician while he was in care at the Bryn Estyn home in Wrexham, North Wales.
He said: “We were taken by car where we were just sexually abused. Various things would happen, drink would be involved. It was basically rape. But there wouldn’t be just him, others would be involved.”
Steven first publicly named his attacker 15 years ago at the 1997 judicial inquiry into the care scandal, but the Press was barred from reporting his shocking allegation.
A second witness is also understood to have named the grandee, but has since disappeared. The third confirmed witness
has died. But campaigners say more victims are expected to come forward.
Labour MP Tom Watson, who first raised the issue of links between a paedophile ring and the heart of Government, said yesterday: “Since then, many more ordinary people have contacted me about suspicions they have had of a wider wrongdoing – in some cases so heinous it made me cry.
“They have talked of psychopaths marking children with Stanley knifes to show ‘ownership’.
“They tell of parties where children were passed around the men. They speak of golf course car parks for child abuse after a game.
“And they have named powerful people – some of them household names – who abused children with impunity.”
He added: “Two former police officers have raised their concerns of cover-ups. Child protection specialists have raised fears that the network of convicted paedophile Peter Righton was wider than at first thought.
Others have identified a former cabinet minister who regularly abused young boys. Some have raised mysterious early deaths, disappeared children, suspicious fires, intimidation and threats.”
Righton, a former lecturer at the National Institute for Social Work in London and former consultant to the National Children’s Bureau, was convicted in 1992 of importing illegal porn and was fined £900.
But police never probed his association with high-powered men with links to the Government.
The unnamed grandee is alleged to have taken part in the abuse of boys from a number of care homes as part of a paedophile ring.
The ring, which operated in the 1970s and 1980s, is said to have victimised hundreds of children in North Wales, as well as infiltrating the highest levels of local authorities, police and government.
The deputy head of Bryn Estyn, Peter Howarth, was jailed for abuse in 1994.
The report by independent expert John Jillings named paedophiles and others.
But it was pulped as the council feared legal action, although one secret copy is still believed to exist.
In 1996, the then Welsh Secretary, William Hague ordered an inquiry by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, who heard evidence from 150 victims of abuse from 40 children’s homes.
The inquiry spent days questioning Steven Messham. When the name of the grandee was put to him, Steven replied: “I was also abused by him, sir. Sexually.”
He refused to give the name of another powerful figure involved.
Steven added that before the inquiry “my house was destroyed, my car was destroyed and I had numerous threats. I’m not taking any chances any more”.
When asked why he had never reported abuse when he was at the home, he replied: “There was no one to tell, sir.”
our streets ASAP! Kustyan has been formally charged with two counts of 1st Degree Sodomy of a ten-year-old little boy. This French middle school teacher has made numerous trips to England and Ireland with school children. Enablers helped him flee the US to his native France. Enablers should be held as responsible as the perpetrators,
just a correction to a comment made by margaret stephens re Hollie Greig she stated that Hollie is now safe in England with her mother. Im afraid that isnt the case. since Hollie and her mother Anne moved to England to escape the persecution of the extremely high level and well connected paedophille ring in Scotland they have been subjected to unbelievable and illegal acts commited on them now by the English authorities. on one occassion when anne and hollie were away on a short break Shropshire Social Services and the local police RAIDED there home and literally trashed it. there wasnt a door in there little flat that wasnt off its hinges or didnt have it's locks broken. they smashed the windows and upset all the drawers. they even switched the electric off so when anne and hollie returned from their holiday all the freezer food had defrosted and spoiled! this against a down syndrome lady and her mother!!!! i have been to the Royal Courts of JustUs 3 times in the last year in support of Anne and Hollie' fight against Shropshire council who want to take Hollie away from her mother. this lady Hollie was abused in unimaginable ways for over 13 years and since going public she and her brave mother have spent the last 13 years trying to find sanctuary and or justice. unfortunately as yet they have found neither.
on a final note if anyone is interested in looking into the Hollie Greig case be careful. there is now a very well run and co-ordinated group called the Hollie Greig Hoax group who have started to make traction in the last 6 months or so saying that Hollie wasnt abused and is lying and the mother is Crazy etc, usual tactics. do research and be discerning.
God bless all victims and survivors