John Allen was sentenced to life in prison today. Here. Personally, I’m left asking more questions than I was before Operation Pallial arrested him. I’d like to put these questions to the officers in charge of the many previous police investigations. I’m not alone when it comes to wanting answers. I know many ex-residents in the care systems that are left with more questions than answers.
I was in Cardiff the day Waterhouse’s report Lost in Care was released to the public. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and relief. I was with friends and we celebrated being vindicated, being believed and being heard. Because that’s how we felt. Or did we? Most of the day was spent at HTV HQ among many staff who had been involved in the abuse scandal for the past 15/20 years. It’s my belief that many of the staff were as relieved as we were. They too considered themselves vindicated and proven to be telling the truth. Maybe we were carried along more with the ambiance of the environment rather than with our own internalised feelings.
The following weeks were an anti-climax. Dullness appeared. The sky looked grey most of the time. I couldn’t fathom out why. I didn’t bother to examine my thinking. I was studying at university at the time and had things to be getting on with. The next ten years were lived as any other member of society lives. Work, rest and play. All my time and energy was devoted to building a secure family environment within which my children could grow up safely and with solid foundations. It’s ongoing.
I’d moved on. I existed as a graduate, a father and a husband and employee. Residential care abuses were a thing of the past. I still bumped into others who were in care with me and we used mention this and that but I wasn’t the “spearhead” of victims I used to be.
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