Suffolk County Council to re-examine decision over how many children sent to paedophile John Allen’s Wales care homes after MP Dr Dan Poulter intervenes

John Allen

John Allen - Credit: PA

Central Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has successfully urged the county council to re-examine how many children were sent to paedophile John Allen’s care homes.

Two weeks ago Allen, of Foxglove Avenue, Needham Market, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 11 years in jail after abusing 19 children between 1968 and 1991 at his Bryn Alyn Community care homes in Wales.

After the 73-year-old’s Mold Crown Court sentencing it was revealed a ‘small’ number of children from Suffolk were sent to Wales by the county council in the early 1990s.

The council said it could not state the specific number or how many, if any, were cared for in Allen’s homes before 1990. In a reply to a Freedom of Information Request by the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star it cited the cost for doing so would be around £50,000. However, Dr Poulter believes it is in the public interest for Suffolk County Council (SCC) to reveal the number of children it despatched from the county to the Bryn Alyn Community homes.

In a letter to Deborah Cadman, SCC’s chief executive, Dr Poulter wrote: “I know that you must be mindful of how you spend public money, but given the history of people in positions of trust with historical links to both Suffolk County Council and to education in Suffolk being involved in terrible cases of child abuse, I believe it is in the public interest for the council to further investigate issues concerning the Bryn Alyn Community care home scandal.

“There have been too many cases of child abuse in Suffolk, with links to child abuse elsewhere in the UK, for you not to act.

“I ask that as chief accountable officer, that you invest the time and resources to fully investigate whether or not more children from Suffolk were sent to Bryn Alyn homes and the roles played by individuals at Suffolk County Council and elsewhere connected with the decisions to send vulnerable children there.”

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In response, SCC leader Mark Bee said: “I appreciate the concerns outlined by Dr Poulter in his letter and have asked the chief executive, Deborah Cadman, to re-examine the situation with a view to conducting a thorough assessment of the facts in this matter.”

Allen had also lived in a flat in Wherstead Road, Ipswich, and had worked as a night porter at a Wherstead hotel.