Bryn Alyn Hall

Bryn Alyn Hall, Wrexham

For information on Bryn Alyn Hall see

See also Bryn Alyn Community (Holding) Ltd

The family destroyed by being ‘in care’

 Sunday 19 January 1997

 One of the most disturbing aspects of the Clwyd scandal is the number of former residents of children’s homes in the county who are now dead, a matter highlighted by the Jillings report, writes Roger Dobson.

At least 14 young men, most of whom were residents in the Bryn Estyn or Bryn Alyn homes have died, some violently.

They include two brothers, Adrian and Lee Johns, whose family life was wrecked by the abuse they and two other brothers encountered in care.

They are pictured here. There is young Adrian the boy on the left sporting his new woolly waistcoat, his brother Lee looking bright as a button, sister Lisa in the middle, and Jay and Chris, both with severe short-back- and-sides – for what was to be the first and last portrait of the Johns children from North Wales together.

Soon after all five were in care and for the boys that would mean years of abuse. All four were assaulted, three of them sexually, during their combined 50 years in residential care, mostly at homes in North Wales.

Adrian, the toddler, died in the mysterious 1992 fire at a flat in Brighton. Lee, the bright-eyed youngster with the Ladybird shirt and ready smile, is dead too, in 1995, from a drugs overdose. Chris now lives in a state of anxiety, believing his brothers did not die accidentally and that paedophiles want to kill him because he knows too much. He only leaves his flat, which he has made a virtual fortress, once a week. At times he thinks he has been followed.

Jay, who suffered years of physical abuse, believes that he too is at risk from people who were connected with abuse of other members of his family. He says he has twice been attacked, once by men with a baseball bat who broke his arm. He also lives away from Wales at an address known only to a few friends.

Not surprisingly, both Jay and Chris are bitter about the care system that failed them.

Chris, who ran away from one home more than 30 times, said: “I live in terror here. The council have put steel security shutters on the windows and I have special bolts on the door.

“Our family has been destroyed by what happened to us in care. These people who abused children are evil people. They do not stop at killing and they enjoy inflicting pain. People do not know how evil they are and to what lengths they will go. If anything does happen to me it will be down to them. However it might look, it will be them.

“I cannot prove it, but I am sure my brothers’ deaths were not as they seem. Lee was about to get money from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, why would he suddenly die like that? There were no drugs found in his body. And the fire in Brighton is very suspicious.

“I believe there are organised paedophile rings that reach very high places in this country and have probably been going on since Victorian times.”

“Why didn’t children speak out at the time? Because no one would believe us, no one. I ran away a lot, but I always got taken back. If you have been abused and the wounds are healed with a 10-bob note you are made to feel guilty because you have accepted their money.

“There were so many people in the homes who were abusers that I used to think everyone was like it. It is only after 20 years that I find it easier to talk about it. It takes that length of time.”

Jay also believes Lee’s death to be suspicious: “Some things, important things were missing from his flat. We never have been able to trace two personal organisers which had names and addresses and all sorts of information in. He put everything in there in code which would be there if anything happened to him. We think a lot of videos went missing too.”

The deaths include, in approximate date order:

Robert Chapman, a former resident of Bryn Alyn, fell to his death from a railway bridge.

Robert Arthur Smith, a former resident of Bryn Alyn, killed himself in May 1978, aged 16, by overdosing on painkillers.

Barry Williams, former resident of Little Acton Assessment centre, Clywd, found dead in a flat where he lived in poverty, aged 21.

Peter Davies died 1985.

Adrian Johns, former resident of Bryn Alyn, died in a 1992 fire aged 32 in Brighton, Sussex. Verdict – unlawful killing.

Heath Kelvin Jones, former resident of Bryn Alyn, found dead in 1992 in a bedsit, aged 18. Cause of death, acute respiratory failure due to solvent abuse.

Peter Wynn hanged himselfin January 1994, aged 27.

Brendon Randalls, former Bryn Estyn resident, died aged 27 from alcohol abuse in April 1994. Allegedly the victim of a serious sexual offence.

Richard Williams was found dead in a car aged 18 in July 1994. Alleged to have suffered maltreatment while in care.

Craig Wilson hanged himself in November 1994 aged 16.

Lee Johns, also known as Lee Homberg, former resident of Bryn Alyn where it was alleged he had been sexually abused. Died in February 1995 aged 37.

Mark Humphries hanged himself in February 1995 aged 31. Allegations of sexual abuse against care workers.

Simon Birley, former resident of Bryn Estyn, was found hanging in May 1995 aged 27. Allegations he had been sexually abused by care worker.

Tony Wallis found dead 1996.

Countless more lives have been wrecked and distorted by abusive regimes.

Homes abuse victims lose damages
The former Bryn Alyn home

Children were abused at Bryn Alyn in the 1970s and 1980s

Six victims of sex abuse at the Bryn Alyn children’s homes in north Wales have been told they will receive little of the compensation awarded to them.

The victims were awarded £200,000 damages between them in 2001, but did not receive the money because the company that owned the homes went bust.he Appeal Court has ruled that Bryn Alyn’s insurance firm is not liable to meet the compensation awards in full.

In 1995, Bryn Alyn’s boss John Allen was convicted of child sex abuse.

The abuse suffered by dozens of residents of children’s homes across north Wales emerged in 1995 when the homes’ boss, John Allen, was convicted of a series of indecent assaults.

He was jailed for six years for attacks on children which took place between 1972 and 1983.

John Allen

John Allen served six years in prison for sex assaults

Allen was head of Bryn Alyn Community, a limited company which operated a total of 11 residential children’s homes in north east Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

These included Bryn Alyn Hall, Cotsbrook Community Hall, Pentre Saeson Hall, Bryntririon Hall and Gatewen – all in and around Wrexham.

Six of the victims of abuse at the homes were between them awarded almost £200,000 damages in 2001.

But London’s Appeal Court ruled on Friday that after Bryn Alyn went into liquidation in 1997, its insurers Royal and Sun Alliance Plc were not liable to compensate them for abuse suffered at the hands of Allen or the “principals” of any of the other homes within the group.

‘Deliberate acts’

It was ruled that under the insurance policy, the company is not liable to pay compensation for “deliberate acts” carried out by members of the management.

Although the insurance company must still pay the six for any abuse they suffered at the hands of employees lower down the management scale, the Appeal Court’s ruling means they will only receive a fraction of the damages they were originally awarded.

One victim who was awarded £37,500 in 2001, will receive a much smaller amount for the abuse he suffered during his three years at Pentre Saeson home because his abusers, including Allen, were too high up the management scale.

John Allen is free now – his victims will never be
Victims’ solicitor Billhar Uppal

Upholding an appeal by Royal and Sun Alliance, Lord Justice Scott Baker said the company was under no obligation to compensate victims of “deliberate acts” perpetrated by Allen and others at management level.

The judge said “right thinking people would regard it as abhorrent” for the company that ran the homes to be covered by insurers against losses created by the “deliberate acts” of Allen.

Lord Justice Baker said: “Suppose Allen had deliberately burnt down one of the homes – we cannot see that the company could recover under the policy.”

Billhar Uppal the solicitor representing some of the victims of sexual abuse at Bryn Alyn said the court’s ruling was “a bitter pill to swallow”.

Mr Uppal said: “After a 10-year battle it is a sour end. We are very seriously looking at whether we can appeal the decision. “The effect of the judgement and its ramifications in terms of childcare is very serious.”

He added: “John Allen is free now – his victims will never be.”

BBC 03/011/06

79 responses to “Bryn Alyn Hall

  1. K smith

    My name is kevin was in ther 79 to 80s. Pentasisin. Then Bryn Alan. Went through some scary shit saw scary shit. Got a skull fracture for running away. Scrubbed floors in very little cloths had to do the bins in snow Upto my knees in u might aswell say bare feet plimsoles no laces or socks vest and shorts. Only 11 years old. Watched kids bein takin out early hours in morn Jon Alan own child sweet shop. Sorry

    • Tony Carter

      Are you the Kevin Smith with an older brother billy ? if so I remember you if I’ve got the correct person, as I mentioned before I’m in contact with loads from ba from mid 70s to mid 80s

  2. Catherine Barker

    Tony Carter how do we know which profile is you. They is loads.
    Much appreciated


  3. Andrew Edwards

    I remember some of the staff when I was there they were awesome Len Burt Martin howatson Kim Atkinson Huw Rodgers

  4. Andrew Edwards

    I lived there also in 119.89 19.95 never seen anything like that
    Andrew Harriman

  5. Anthony Carter

    Anyone on hear that wants to contact ex kids from Bryn alyn and its community contact me via Facebook and I maybe able to help,there is 1 hundred and eleven of us atm,,you will find me on Facebook thanks Tony Carter.

  6. audrey smith

    it is really sad that someone is impersonating another

  7. Bryn brookes

    Hiya again iv just written a few words above and having a look re other comments and someone seems to be using my name and saying some crap I’m Bryn brookes from Walsall if thire is another same name as me then I apologise if not if I find out who you are you will have big prolem.

  8. Bryn brookes

    Just been having a read brings back really bad memories a long time ago unfortunately I was a victim of John Allen and went to court on last occasion to give evidence really hard for me and my family to go through all details facts upon what happend to me, and yes my life as been haunted every day to a point on several occasions iv tryed to end it.iv got two sons and a good wife and now after the trial I’m finally gettingy life what’s left of it back on track. Its really sad for all the others who aren’t with us anymore, and do agree very suspicious way people have died. I had police guard going to court and was told by police thing have happens to witnesses that never made it to give evidence well glad John Allen got what he deserved by law, if left to me or others he’d abused he also wouldn’t make it to court but two wrongs don’t make a right but sometimes you have to take law into your own hands. Anyway good luck to all who have been through same as me

  9. Tony carter

    Admin,or whoever is in charge,,could you help me in contacting Alan heron and John millington many thanks

  10. Tony carter

    Sorry John millington dont remember you,maybe you were in lindisfarne as there was a few in there that i didnt know there name,,but i remember Alan heron,,obourne hair,?there is a site i can add you both too if you look me up on fbook?,plenty of ( boys and girls from the days on it )

  11. alan prescott

    i was in bryn alyn 83-86 i remember hearing rumours about ja especially with a couple of boys who lived at gwasted hall with him , i think they got motorbikes for there silence if i remember correct , i can honestly say nothing untoward happened to me there although there was times when i knew other kids were put on “scrubs” where they were made to wear only shorts and t shirts and given shit jobs to do after a good hiding of course which i believe was very severe ,,, i got on with all the staff and i was a little twat aswell so i dont no why i got away with everything ? i can honestly say i enjoyed my time at bryn alyn after a broken home life but im not behind the door as to what was happening i was just lucky enough or not good looking enough to be left alone , my best wishes to the people who were affected by those times and good luck !

    • John Millington

      I was there 81 i never got nonced but there was a few that did i got regular beatings though but can honestly say i never enjoyed my time there if i cud turn the clock bak sometimes i wish i cud av dun something to help them abused but bak then wen i was 13 proberly wernt alot i cud do sometimes wonder y i never got touched was it because i was a bit naughty bak then in and out of borstal i just dont kbow i remember gettin a gud kickin off cheif inspector gordon anglsea which no one beleived at the time gave me 2 black eyes e later got prison for being in the same pedo ring as john allen also the twat that ran pentre saeson john jeffreys gave me a gud kickin y the fuck the staff at the time did not try to stop the sexual abuse others got il never kbow cus as far as im concerned if the kids ad a rough idea wot was goin on surely the staff did

      • Anthony Carter

        John I’ve been searching for you ,I’m on Facebook mate ,my profile states I was in Bryn alyn,hope to hear from you soon,best regards Tony

      • Tony Carter

        John millington I can’t find you,I’m on Facebook.

  12. Bethany McGlade

    (1977-1981) I’m looking for a resident that use to go to Bryn Alyn called Stephan Payne… if anyone knows anything at all could you contact me on

  13. Ken Rowlands

    Alan Tipple i was there from 1972-1976.Shared the last room with Derek Blower and Tony Partington.Think i remember you.

  14. anyone looking for former BA residents, email me

  15. Alan Heron

    my name is alan heron I was in there 1977/1981

  16. Mike kent

    I was in there in 1974 few names I remember popping up

    • Coin paxton

      I was there in early 80s sent from London remember seeing staff hitting kid lucky for me I ran way from getting trust to have a day out at real and not coming back reading all that when on at them homes is beyond words

  17. Alan heron

    I got batterd quite a few times lost my home leave but i use to fight back with one called cookie he was a wright wanker and one fat bitch with long brown hair can not remember her name i left in 1981 thank fuck

  18. Hi everyone, my brother Craig Wilson was in Bryn Alyn for a few years around 1990 to 1994 when he hanged himself. If anyone knows anyone who was in that home or knew him from any other home please get in touch, I’ve tonnes of questions I want to ask you.

  19. Probably the best blog is If there is no contact details on there for Kaz, email me and i will pass them on I do this blog . We do need to solve this problem of not publishing survivors emails for their protection, but yet still facilitate groups being set up. For the time being I can act as a go between

    • Anthony Carter

      Cathy do you know how I can find john millington who has replied on this post ashe has asked how to contact me,I’ve been searching for him for years now without any luck, thanks Tony Carter.

  20. angie lock

    I was also a victim

    • John millington

      I was in there from 78-83 bryn alyn and pentre saeson used to get beatings that scum and the rest of um should of fkin died slowly for wot they did how do i contact any more residents

  21. paul

    Hi my name is paul doyle I was in B/A home from the 80s I was known as paul tanner I’m looking to get in contact with people that were in the home same time as me> Jason books, Michael Robinson and many others that were first in Lindisfarne.

  22. Russell Mensah

    Listen you gob shite my life was over when this prick abused me,how can you feel sorry for a child abuser,who ruined so many lifes,your clearly an under educated prick,if you think the survivors where thier to gain financia Gain ..u absolute prick.

  23. alan tipple

    i was in bryn alyn from 1969 /1976 the place was most of the time good memories but the beatings and sexual abuse was a fucking nightmare and has been ever since we have now got some kind of closier on john allen lets hope he dies in jail best place for the fucking scumbug filthy bastard good luck ti all the victims of bryn alyn my name is alan tipple

  24. nicolas

    I was in there and only just made it out alive now 52 .I left there a lier a cheat .The if addict all the labels u could give a child he gave me .and abused

  25. tracie

    hi im looking for a bryn alyn resident who was at gatewwen around 1984 ish his name is john stanley please can you email me at if anyone can help thanks

  26. stephen moore

    i too was a resident at bryn alyn hall 1975-1979, it was the best childrens home ever, i remember robert smith who took an overdose, this was because his girlfriend finished with him, which was the same reason robert chapman jumped off a railway bridge in cefn y bedd, i feel for those people who genuinely were abused, BUT as to the latest batch of accusers, i wonder how many were actually abused ? or is it all about money ! stephen moore 13-11-2014

    • Neville-jolley

      Your probably right some will be lying ,but a lot will be telling the truth,the ones that are lying will get found out ,I remember kid’s being taken too the south of France ,but I wasn’t allowed,maybe cos I started to become an angry young boy I still am angry today because I just want everyone to forget about it ,as it stirs up anger and anger causes mental health,the police asked me would I give evidence,my answer to that was no because I think the police are bent and crooked,but tell me I was there in 1983 or 84 around that time ,a staff member took me into the little living room ,and brought another man in the man said he’s an ex copper and do I like boxing ,they knew I did but then he asked to feel my hands ,he did I didn’t like it so I said what you doing ,he said that he can tell by my hands that I going to be a good boxer,I have since asked some of Britain’s best trainer’s and boxers can you tell by feeling a 13 year olds hands weather they going to be a good boxer ,no you can’t ,it was weird in that room that day that’s why it still annoys me 30 years later ,I just want the truth to come out and then it can be put to bed,and I think that so called ex copper and he’s mate was just testing me ,I was street wise some of them other kids wasn’t so from what I no not all of them are lying ,think about it these people that worked there just come out of the swinging sixties free sex anything goes ,people in authority will always abuse it ,my reason for telling you this is because it happened and not everyone is lying

    • mark

      are you the stephen moore from round warrington who also had a brother momenterily in bryn alyn hall ? you had a single room in main house when you came

    • Bryn Brookes

      NONE were abused Stephen – they are all lying. They are sick.

    • Mike Kent

      Do you remember James halliday

  27. I was a resident at bryn alyn 1977 to 1981,i feel for those who were abused i know ,Tony Carter

    • stephen moore

      hi there tony, remember me stephen moore, long time no see, how is life treating you, i am fine, i was in mold yesterday so i called into the crown court, i had a chat with john who is on trial again, he is a broken man, i really feel for him, he is now 73 years old and he said to me he thinks his life is over on the outside world, as he thinks he will die in jail if found guilty, there are another 20 accusers, but i very much doubt they are all telling the truth, i think this latest trial is all about money, my god hasent he suffered enough, as you know, bryn alyn was the best home ever, and for me i would go back there tomorrow, so would most of the( so called latest bach of abused).

      • Derby

        You are being disrespectful to the victems – sounds like you are a character witness for the evil allan – was you not called up becouse your having a sexual relationship with him

      • stephen moore

        i am really sorry for what i wrote about the victims of john allen, i did not know any of the evidence untill i went to court to hear the judges summing up of the case, i was in total shock, i was a at bryn alyn, and did not experience any of the abuse, i asked a couple of the ex members at john allens sentencing why did i not see, or why did i not get abused, to which they replied, steve, all of the staff were scared stiff of you, this is because when i entered bryn alyn at the age of 12, i put up a defensive wall and pretended to be crazy, looking back now i think i probably detected something was not quite right with the place, so lucky for me it worked.

      • Neville-jolley

        Are you John Allen’s mate you nonse,I have just read your cramp and I was in bryn Alyn and there sick it’s a nice home if your a fag ,I was there I never got messed with but I believe they tried to groom me ,also they used to beat me and then sit down and put there arms around me asking am I ok now,as if I was the aggressor ,I was 13 then ,let me just say it’s not about money ,I haven’t asked for any I just want all you sick counts to die

      • Mike

        I remember you yes you wad a bit strange

    • Norman wotherspon

      My name is Norman. Stephen mate i was 13 when i was sent to Bryn Alan 1984. I was sent there to get a Eduaction. 13 years old and i was home sick. So i ran off when i could. Why? I was a vitim of bullies. Had i Flickknife put against my thoat by Delroy who was older and one of the london children in the home. (We were children) Because i was scared i told (Tiny)Tiny took me under his wing for a bit then they moved me to Pentre Saeson. I was still bullied and i was runing away. Jason Brooks another bully and a child a bit older then me helped the staff find me when i ran away, Sex abuse happened and when i ran off the staff told the other children to pick on me to stop me running off. As the flote money was being used topay some taxi driver to collect me from the police station in Manchester. And also whilst at this (home) i was nonced a few times at the the time. And i was confused and never told anyone. Now i want to get help to move on.

    • Tony i was there when you where how do i go about contacting you

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