File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner
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
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.