Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 4

File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Dr J Reid and Mr J Maxton
12 July 2000
Telephone conversation with Dean Nelson ...

... I telephoned Dean Nelson to ask him for further information on other cases that he investigated because I was concerned that material was being put into my inquiry which might discredit him and I needed to be aware of the facts. I said the matters concerned child care enquiries and a libel case. He said that he had been involved in two investigations in Wales into abuse in children`s homes, both of which had been very harrowing, several of the witnesses had committed suicide and there had indeed been a Public Inquiry on one of them. He believed he had contributed to unearthing serious cases of child abuse. He said the enquiries had culminated in public investigations which had been published.

1.  Ty Mawr in Gwent

The inquiry had been conducted by Lord Williams of Mostyn who had, he believed, been very positive about the early work that Dean Nelson had done to get witnesses to be willing to tell their stories. He drew my attention to the positive comments about his work in Lord Williams` report.

2.  North Wales, Clwyd and Gwynedd

Dean Nelson began investigating that scandal in 1991. It culminated in the Waterhouse inquiry which he said had not criticised his work. Indeed the Waterhouse inquiry was able to unearth six or seven more witnesses than Dean Nelson had been able to find himself originally. As a result of the investigations the Deputy Head of a children`s home was jailed. Dean Nelson worked closely with a member of staff on the NSPCC to ensure that any witnesses that he interviewed were given proper counselling and support.

He said the case that is probably being referred to was a libel case brought by an ex policeman, which was won on the basis of a construction which could be made on the reports published by The Observer, The Independent on Sunday and HTV. All the defendants defended the action vigorously.

I told Dean Nelson that I did now need to have the McKinney tape. Dean Nelson agreed to get copies made and to let me have it at the latest by the beginning of next week.

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