Neil Wardell Court of Appeal 29th April 2004 [Ty Mawr]

This appeal concerned abuse at Ty Mawr Childrens Home.

There was report in 1992 about physical and emotional abuse and the number of suicide attempts at Ty Mawr Community Home Inquiry Report 1992: Gareth Williams QC John McCreadie M.Ed [3]

There was also another court appeal concerning abuse at Ty Mawr  2001 Feb 15 Barrie Owen Alden, John Robert Stafford Wright, Court of Appeal [4]

For indexes of Court of Appeal Documents and newspaper articles:

An Index / Timeline of Newspaper Articles on Cathy Fox Blog [1]

An Index / Timeline of Court Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog [2]

Redaction

Some reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance-  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from reading unnecessary detail about themselves or friends, to stop identification of victims and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction”  of personal information about victims, including their ages sometimes, I have thus “assault redacted” across most of the spectrum of abuse. This may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, the actual specific charges the perpetrators faced – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links and patterns between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

Index/Timeline of Court Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog [2]

Index Timeline of Newspaper Articles on Cathy Fox Blog [1]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C]  and Havoca [D]. Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog. Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1235

No: 200305479/A8

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL CRIMINAL DIVISION

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London, WC2

Thursday, 29th April 2004

Before:

The Vice President

(Lord Justice Rose)

Mr Justice Hughes

Mrs Justice Gloster

Regina

v.

Neil Wardell

Computer Aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of Smith Bernal Wordwave

Limited 190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020

7831 8838 (Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

Non-Counsel Application

JUDGMENT

(As Approved by the Court)

——————————

1. MRS JUSTICE GLOSTER : On 20th June 2003 in the Crown Court at Cardiff,

the applicant, Wardell, aged 44, was convicted of two counts of indecent

assault, three counts of battery and one count of assault occasioning

actual bodily harm. He was sentenced by the trial judge, His Honour Judge

Wyn Morgan, to 6 months’ imprisonment on each of the three battery counts,

24 months’ imprisonment on one of the indecent assault counts, 12 months on

the second indecent assault count and 12 months on the assault occasioning

actual bodily harm. All sentences other than the 12 month sentence on the

second indecent assault count, which was consecutive, were concurrent, so

that, in total, Wardell was sentenced to a sentence of 3 years’

imprisonment. He was also disqualified from working with children for the

rest of his life and required to comply with the notification requirements

of the Sex Offenders Act 1997. He now renews his application for leave to

appeal against the sentence of imprisonment to this Court, the Single Judge

having refused his application for leave.

2. The facts may be briefly stated as follows. The offences occurred at Ty

Mawr School near Abergavenney between 1985 and 1989. At that time Ty Mawr

was a children’s home for boys aged 12 to 15 years. The complainants were

residents at the home.

3. The applicant acquired the position of senior residential carer on 1st

April 1985 when he moved there with his wife and baby. His family moved

away as the marriage deteriorated. The applicant was arrested by South

Wales police as part of a large operation in September 2002. In June 203 he

stood trial on a 22 count indictment, containing allegations by seven

complainants of sexual and physical assaults, including seven buggery

allegations. Whilst the applicant was convicted of the six offences

referred to above and acquitted of the others, the jury could not decide on

five allegations of buggery. This led to a retrial on these counts in July

2003 when he was eventually acquitted.

4. The facts relating to the individual offences may be briefly summarised

as follows. The first count of battery related to a single incident on a

date between April 1985 and 31st December 1988. One of the boys, A,

returned to the home having been on home leave. Several boys had gathered

in the television area. A refused to handout the tea and the applicant

punched him once on the face. For this the judge sentenced him to 6 months.

5. The first indecent assault count related to a 15 year old boy, B . This

occurred in the shower area. It was accepted practice among some staff to

watch the boys shower, the main purpose purportedly being to see whether

the boys had any suffered non-accidental injuries after a period of home

leave. On the occasion of the offence the complainant was the last boy to

shower. Whilst he was in the shower cubicle, the applicant walked over and,

as they stood face-to-face, [Assault redacted]. The applicant

denied this offence. For this the judge sentenced him to 2 years’

imprisonment.

6. The second count of battery also related to B. As the boys did their

morning chores, B argued with another boy about cleaning methods. As B

was getting up from under a sink area the applicant punched him in the

face. B fell to the floor. He cried but suffered no serious injury. The

applicant recalled the incident but, although he accepted he had challenged

the boy about the commotion, he denied hitting him. For this the judge

sentenced the applicant to 6 months’ imprisonment.

7. The second count of indecent assault related to a few occasions when the

applicant [Assault redacted] over his clothing, during rough and

tumble horseplay or during touch rugby. The boy, who was called C, did not

consider the applicant’s actions as sexual either at the time or at the

time of trial. The applicant denied [Assaulted redacted]

intentionally. For this offence he was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.

8. The third count of battery took place outside one of the units in the

home when the boys were lining up to go to assembly. A boy called D was

slow to line up and he became abusive when the applicant approached him. As

the applicant took him to the office, the boy lost his temper and

struggled. The applicant pushed the boy’s head against a pane of glass of

the unit entrance door, causing the glass to shatter. The boy suffered

bruising. The judge sentenced the applicant to 6 months on this count.

9. The final matter, namely of assault occasioning actual bodily harm,

related to an incident with a 13 year old boy called E, who was resident

in a unit called the Intensive Care Unit of the home. A female member of

staff had taken the boy, with some other boys, to a car show in her own

car. The applicant travelled to the show in the school Land Rover. At the

end of the day E had a tantrum because he could not sit in the front seat

of the female member of staff’s car for the return journey. This delayed

the entire group’s return. After the return to the home, the applicant

asked E about the incident and then sent him to his room. E began banging

and jumping around the room. The applicant put the boy into a cell. The

applicant poked the boy in the ribs with his knuckles and slapped him on

the face, causing bruising. E was kept locked in the cell for a short

period of time and then let out. There was a full internal investigation of

this incident, which resulted in the applicant’s dismissal from Ty Mawr. A

police investigation was discontinued at that time. The applicant admitted

in evidence that he had been wrong to lockE in the cell but denied

inflicting any injuries. He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment on

this count.

10. It is conceded in the written submissions for counsel on behalf of the

applicant that these offences involved a significant breach of trust.

Indeed, as the judge said when passing sentence, the applicant took

advantage of his position of trust and responsibility, indulging in sexual

and physical abuse of these boys who were under his care. Apart from an

irrelevant past conviction relating to dishonesty, the applicant had no

previous convictions.

11. In support of this application for leave to appeal, counsel for the

applicant has provided detailed submissions in writing as to the respects

in which it is contended that the judge failed to take account of certain

particular features of the individual charges. It is submitted, first, that

in imposing the sentence of 2 years for the indecent assault of B, the

judge failed to take account of the actual circumstances of the indecent

assault which was a single occasion which did not go beyond the cupping of

the testicles. Second, it is submitted that, in imposing a consecutive

sentence of 12 months for the indecent assault on C, the judge failed to

take account of the fact that it took place during horseplay, over

clothing, causing no injury or even psychological damage and that the

complainant did not think it as sexual nor did it concern him at the time

counsel contends that it was wrong to impose a consecutive sentence for

this matter, and in particular, without giving any reason for making the

sentence consecutive. Third, it is submitted that in imposing the sentence

of 12 months’ imprisonment for the assault of D, the judge failed to

reflect the fact that the applicant had admitted that he was wrong to place

D in the cell, that his injuries were minor, that the boy had behaved

badly prior to the offence, that physical chastisement was more acceptable

than now and that the punishment for this incident was exacted at the time

by the applicant’s dismissal.

12. Fourth, it is submitted that, in imposing the maximum sentence of 6

months for battery, insufficient account was taken of the different

attitude towards physical chastisement at the time of the offences and the

fact that battery was followed by misbehaviour.

13. Finally, it is submitted that, in imposing the total sentence of 3

years’ imprisonment, insufficient account was taken by the sentencing judge

of the fact that the applicant was effectively of good character prior to

these offences. It was submitted by counsel that, as the applicant had no

convictions before or after these offences, he could not be said to pose a

risk to children. It is also submitted that the applicant had had to endure a retrial, before the most serious offences of buggery were disposed of and therefore he had had

a threat of a custodial sentence in double figures hanging over him for

almost a year, that his life had been destroyed to the point where he had

to move country, (that is to say from England to Scotland) and restart an

entirely new area and that the offences happened 14 to 18 years ago.

14. We have carefully considered these submissions. In addition, we have

carefully read the applicant’s letter to this Court, dated 19th April, in

which he continues to maintain his innocence of the offences of which he

was convicted. In our judgment, the submissions made by counsel on his

behalf are not well-founded and provide no grounds justifying leave to

appeal.

15. The judge, having conducted the trial, and heard all the evidence was

particularly well placed to assess the scale of the applicant’s criminality

and to assess a total sentence which reflected the applicant’s conduct. The

judge clearly dealt with the applicant on the basis that he did not fall

into the same category as certain other former employees of Ty Mawr, who

had also been the subject of criminal proceedings. He accepted that the

applicant’s case was “not a case of serial and sexual abuse, taking place

over many years, but rather the behaviour of an uncaring and cruel bully.”

But he clearly found that, in the instances of which the applicant had been

found guilty, the applicant “went beyond the behaviour expected of a

trusted member of staff, looking after young teenage boys in need of help

and care.” He clearly took into account the fact that the applicant had

been punished by his dismissal, his general good character and the fact

that, since the offences, he had led a blameless life. He rightly took a

serious view of the first indecent assault which he referred to as a

serious offence, not in terms of the physical action involved so much as

the effect that it had upon the victim who was vulnerable and naked in the

shower and confronted by a member of staff whom he trusted taking advantage

of him. Likewise, he clearly took account of the fact that the second

indecent assault was what the judge referred to as an example of rough play

rather than anything particularly perverted.

16. He was in also, in our judgment, entitled to take account of the fact

that, contrary to the submissions made by counsel in his written

submissions to this Court, the reports before the court regarded the

applicant as somebody who could be said to pose a risk to children in the

future. That was clearly stated in the pre-sentence report.

17. We see no grounds to justify any interference whatsoever with an

overall sentence of 3 years’ imprisonment in this case. Accordingly, in our

judgment, this application is to be refused.

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C]  and Havoca [D]. Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog. Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.

Links

[1] Cathy Fox Blog 2015 May 8 [constantly updated] Index Timeline of Newspaper Articles on Cathy Fox Blog https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/newspaper-stories-index-timeline/

[2] Cathy Fox Blog 2015 May 8 [constantly updated] An Index / Timeline of Court Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/a-timeline-of-court-and-ewca-documentation-on-cathy-fox-blog/

[3] 2013 Jul 29 Cathy Fox Blog Ty Mawr Community Home Inquiry Report 1992: Gareth Williams QC John McCreadie M.Ed https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/ty-mawr-community-home-report-1992-gareth-williams-qc-john-mccreadie-m-ed/

[4] 2001 Feb 15 Barrie Owen Alden, John Robert Stafford Wright, Court of Appeal 15th February 2001 via Cathy Fox Blog 2015 Jun 11 https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/barrie-owen-alden-john-robert-stafford-wright-court-of-appeal-15th-february-2001/

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

[B] NAPAC http://www.napac.org.uk/

[C] One in Four http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/

[D] Havoca http://www.havoca.org/HAVOCA_home.htm

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post http://survivorsjustice.com/2014/02/26/triggers-what-are-they-and-how-do-we-work-through-them/

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog http://survivorsjustice.com/

[G] Jim Hopper Mindfulness http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/

[H] Jim Hopper Meditation http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/#cultivate

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected please email cathyfox@bigfoot.com

cathyfox the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free

Advertisements

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in #OpPaedoHunt, cathy fox blog, Child Abuse, Child sexual abuse, Childrens home, Court, Gwent County, Ty Mawr, Wales and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Neil Wardell Court of Appeal 29th April 2004 [Ty Mawr]

  1. Pingback: An Index and Timeline of Court & Court of Appeal, EWCA Documents on Cathy Fox Blog | cathyfox blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s