Wales

John Allen: Paedophile care home owner on trial for sex abuse

John Allen led away Image copyright Andrew Price
Image caption John Allen, 78, has a "longstanding propensity to abuse young boys", the court was told

A "predatory paedophile" who owned a group of children's homes has gone on trial accused of historical sexual offences against boys in his care.

Mold Crown Court heard John Allen, 78, who ran a number of Bryn Alyn community children's homes in and around Wrexham, had a "longstanding propensity to abuse young boys".

He denies 20 charges relating to eight complainants dating from 1976 to 1992.

The court heard he had two previous convictions for child sex abuse.

Prosecution barrister Eleanor Laws QC said: "The children were often troubled and highly vulnerable and if they did complain they were often ignored or disbelieved.

"Most of them had to learn to live with his prolific abuse but it took its toll", she added.

The jury was shown a police interview with one of the complainants who alleges he was sexually abused by Mr Allen as a child.

"He would take me in his car and drive into some woods where it was dark or pull over," he said.

"He'd put his hand on your knee and try to put his hand in your pants."

He described how Mr Allen bought him gifts before the alleged abuse began.

"He took us to Wrexham town centre and bought a record player and some records. I assumed he was just trying to settle us in."

The complainant said he told people including his mother and a social worker what was happening but nothing ever came from it.

The trial continues.

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