Suffolk: ‘I was abused by paedophiles around the country while I was a child in care’, man alleges
- Credit: PA
Murmurings of a paedophile network operating in Suffolk from the 1970s to the 1990s have grown louder over the last five years.
Over the last decade there have been a number of investigations in the county into claims of children being abused many years ago.
Earlier this month two men – a 62-year-old care worker and 65-year-old teacher at the former Kesgrave Hall school – were arrested on suspicion of child sex offences between the 1970s and 1990s.
As a result the 62-year-old man from Barnsley, was also arrested as part of the National Crime Agency’s inquiry into abuse at care homes in north Wales.
Until now the national focus has been on the likes of Jimmy Savile, Liberal MP Cyril Smith, North Wales care homes, care facilities in Islington, and the Elm Guest House in south London.
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However one man has now alleged he was abused around the country as a child while in the Suffolk care system. He also said he was assaulted in the county by Peter Righton, one of the founders of the now notorious Paedophile Information Exchange.
Towards the end of his life Righton lived in a property near Eye.
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Michael – not his real name – also said he was trafficked around the country by his male foster carer to be molested by strangers.
These ‘trips’ included being taken to north Wales where the large-scale inquiry is currently going on into mass child abuse in care homes, as well as being driven down to London.
Michael has been in contact with officers from the National Crime Agency’s Operation Pallial, who are investigating the abuse allegations in Wales. He has also contacted the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Fernbridge which is investigating various allegations relating to London.
The man who Michael was placed with was in a position of trust professionally and had links to other abuse inquiries and voluntary organisations.
The foster carer was jailed by Ipswich Crown Court for sexually molesting a boy in his care and was subsequently ordered to pay compensation to Michael for abusing him.
Michael is adamant there was a paedophile ring operating in Suffolk with national links to people in positions of power.
Due to his past as a wild, vulnerable child followed by an early adulthood submerged in drink, drugs and criminality, he says it is often difficult for some to believe him.
It is the sort of background many complainants have. However, now with overwhelming numbers coming forward to validate others’ claims they are finally being taken seriously.
Michael, who is now in his 30s, said he was taken into Suffolk’s care system as a child after suffering abuse at home.
He said: “I was moved from one particular method of abuse to another one throughout the care system.”
While at one of the homes he said he was taken to north London to be abused.
“You would almost hope to see somebody you knew and scream out.
“You would be taken to places and rooms where you would have to do things to either be abused or play dress up for people.
“When they took us down there (London) it would be ‘you’re going to have a day trip out, see a museum’. You would actually believe them.
“You kind of get all geared up. You would be washed and in your best gear and be like – ‘yeah, yeah, what’s happened happened and we’ll have a nice day out’.
“Then you would pull into somewhere and it would be very much like you were controlled. There was not a chance of you kicking-off.
“There were only two different places I ever saw with them in London and certainly I never saw them again after that.
“Certainly the links were there. It kind of came out of Suffolk, into London, and right back up again.”
Michael was then sent to live with the male foster carer in mid-Suffolk for eight months.
“I moved from one particular style of abuse with one particular set of people to another particular style of abuse with another set of people and it moved like that. And the zenith of it all was being with my foster carer.
“He was a nasty man, violent man – certainly connected to Islington. Under the guise of a children’s holiday fund for deprived children, we would travel.
“You are kind of made for abuse and by that point I was a pretty compliant guy.”
Michael said they travelled together to Plymouth, Sussex, Islington, Wales, Birmingham, Leeds and Cromer.
“It was like an exchange of kids. We certainly visited north Wales on two occasions. I was taken to Wrexham. There was a hotel there, which I have since become aware that there may have been an investigation into.
“I believe there was an investigation into it because I’ve read about it. I’ve seen a photograph of the hotel, which looks very, very much like the one I was in.”
“At times you would certainly feel you were cared for by some of them (the abusers). Had I run away would I have seen them again, on the circuit as it were?
“From a very young age they had been filming things. They knew who I was. I was probably popular to abuse.”
Michael said between his foster carer and an intermediary it was arranged he would be taken to see Peter Righton.
The disgraced child care guru has since been unmasked as a paedophile who had access to all echelons of society.
A founding member of the Paedophile Information Exchange he was staying in Suffolk.
Righton’s name has been connected to some of the national abuse scandals currently being investigated.
Michael said he and others were taken to where he was staying near Eye and was abused on around a dozen occasions by Righton.
He said: “We would be made to fill up Righton’s wood store. Outside his front door on the right was a wood store where all his firewood would be stored. When I did that you were always told that would be a whole day job.
“You would take three maybe four barrows in and then he would invite you in.
“When you were in his presence, you could actually feel the evil.
“This was the worst I had ever come across.
“I am glad he’s dead. I wish I had killed him.”
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said it was aware of Michael’s case and was currently looking into various allegations he has made.
Michael has received no payment for this interview.