Clywch: abuse claims ‘covered up’

June 1, 2004

The response of the authorities to allegations of sexual abuse by a teacher and television dramatist was so poor as to constitute a cover-up, according to a report out today.One official, David Matthews, failed in his duty of care so badly that he may have committed a criminal offence, Welsh Children’s Commissioner Peter Clarke said.Mr Clarke today published his long-awaited report, Clywch (Listen), into the activities of John Owen, a teacher at Rhydfelen school in Pontypridd, south Wales, between 1975 and 1991.Mr Owen, who went on to became a successful TV dramatist, killed himself in 2001, aged 47, the day before his trial on five charges of sexual abuse against boys was due to begin.Detailed allegations of sexual abuse by Owen were made by pupils at the school in late 1990 and early 1991, but there was a failure to pass on information to the police and to the school governors.Six pupils made allegations at that time. Police were eventually called in by a parent, but Mr Owen was not charged.In 2001 four men made further allegations against Owen relating to their time at Rhydfelen. A fresh police investigation led to Owen being charged.The report found:…

IC Wales

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