Submitted by Mark Merett (CA 36)
I feel I must make this statement after spending three years at a children's home in South Wales, which is now at the centre of child abuse allegations.
During my time at the school there was never any talk or rumour of child abuse, if anything of that nature had been going on everyone would have known about it. At night I shared a bedroom with three other boys who knew everything that was going on; if a burglary had been committed, everyone knew about it by breakfast time the next morning.
I was interviewed by South Wales Police on three occasions and during these interviews I was amazed that the police openly named suspects who were known to me and they confirmed that these suspects had been named by other former residents. Even though I made the police aware of my medical condition (I am epileptic), they continued to pressurise me into making a complaint, which I did not do. I found the whole experience very distressing and I felt that I was being bullied by the police into making a complaint.
I was horrified when I was asked during the interview, "Did Mr B touch you up?, did he touch your penis? other people have complained that he did".
At this moment I was appalled and explained that nothing of that nature ever went on at the school. The police pointed out that they had been in touch with other former residents who had made complaints. After hours of questioning, I still maintained that nothing ever happened to me, which is the truth.
While being interviewed by the South Wales police, it was pointed out to me that other former residents would be receiving tens of thousands of pounds in compensation and if I made a complaint I could be entitled to the same. I regarded this as a financial incentive.
I still see some of my former school mates and they have confirmed that they have been offered money by the South Wales police in return for a complaint. This I believe to be wrong.