North East Wales

Operation Pallial: Former care home boss guilty of 1970s abuse

Bryan Davies
Image caption Bryan Davies was found guilty of charges spanning a period of more than 30 years

A 71-year-old former care home boss has been found guilty of a string of sex offences against boys in north Wales.

But Bryan Davies was absent from court - after he tried to kill himself before the end of the trial - and is under police guard in hospital.

Eight men - now in their 50s - were abused by Davies at a Denbighshire-based organisation in the 1970s.

He was also found guilty of having child abuse images - and inciting boys to perform sexual acts online.

After finding Davies guilty of 29 offences in total, the judge revealed the paedophile was awaiting surgery in London, after stabbing himself in the neck and legs.

The trial was concluded in Davies's absence, with the jury warned not to speculate why he was not in the dock.

Davies had been a living at Penycae in Wrexham at the time of the offences.

The crimes dated back to between 1976 and 1978 when Davies was deputy principal at Ystrad Hall and an annex named Eirianfa at Llangollen, which was run by the private organisation Care Concern.

The jury panel cleared Davies of nine historical sexual assault allegations, including accusations made by a further two boys at the care home.

Image copyright NCA
Image caption Bryan Davies faces an "an extremely substantial" jail sentence

Davies was also convicted of six charges of making indecent images of children between 2007 and 2013, and a further three charges of inciting young boys to indulge in sexual acts over the internet in 2011 and 2012.

The court head that the defendant lost his job at the care home at the centre of the scandal back in the late 1970s after he admitted assaulting two children there at Llangollen Magistrates' Court.

But after being arrested and questioned as part of an Operation Pallial investigation, he fled the country and had to be extradited from Malta.

Following the guilty verdicts, it was revealed that Davies had sent an email to solicitors on Sunday stating he was going to harm himself.

Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) traced him to a hotel in Folkstone, Kent, where he was found with self-inflicted stab wounds to his neck and legs.

He was taken to the King's College Hospital in London, where he is now due to undergo an operation on his throat.

Davies 'exploited victims'

Judge Huw Rees said Davies will now be sentenced next Friday, after he has had time to recover from surgery.

The judge said Davies faced "an extremely substantial" sentence of imprisonment.

He added that the defendant "will be in extreme advanced old age before he is released from prison".

Speaking after the verdicts, chief investigating officer for the NCA, Philip Marshall said: "Bryan Davies was sexually abusing vulnerable young boys who were in his care.

"He should have been protecting them - instead he exploited them for his own sexual gratification.

"I would like to pay tribute to the tenacity of all of the victims in this investigation, for their continued engagement over a number of years and for standing in court to provide harrowing evidence of their abuse."

North Wales Police's chief constable, Mark Polin, added: "I would like to thank the NCA for the thorough and professional investigation they have conducted since Operation Pallial began at my request five-and-a-half years ago.

"There have been 10 convictions to date and the team have worked closely with North Wales Police, other partners and agencies to deliver advice and support to victims of past abuse and to investigate crimes."

More on this story