Tuesday 7 May 2013

Operation Screen (2000)

Peter Righton was well-connected in child care circles, and several people he knew who worked in the field were later convicted of abuse. For example, there was Rod Ryall, with whom Righton had sat on various committees. Ryall was director of social services at Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire and was sentenced to six years for indecent assault on two boys. But the police failed to find evidence of a paedophile ring.
As with PIE, it is not Righton’s direct role that is important to this story but the influence he was able to wield over the social work profession and society at large. Righton was quite open about his views. In 1977, for example, in an article in Social Work Today, he was quoted as saying that sex between workers and residents in homes was OK. “Provided there is no question of exploitation, sexual relationships freely entered into by residents – including adolescents – should not be a matter for automatic enquiry. Nor should a sexual relationship between a resident and a worker be grounds for automatic dismissal.” The story was picked up in the Daily Mirror but no action was taken against him by NISW.

Rod Ryall took office of Assistant Director of Social Services in Calderdale in 1974, having left Birmingham.

In 1988, at Leeds Crown Court, Roderick Ryall admitted four offences of indecent assault, two of gross indecency and a serious sexual assault charge.
Ryall, 68, of Wheatley Drive, Mirfield, West Yorkshire, had denied 10 counts of indecent assault on three children in the 1960s and 1970s
Malcolm Osric Phillips
Phillips arrived in Calderdale from Birmingham in 1976.
He had been housemaster for four years at an establishment for boys aged 12-17.
He qualified on a training course for social workers (believed to have been Righton's course) and took up the post of principal at Skircoat Lodge in 1976.
He remained there until 1994.
He was dismissed by Calderdale Council in 1996.

Andrew James Shalders
Shalders arrived in Calderdale in 1976 from Birmingham where he had worked with Phillips, and took up the post of care worker at Skircoat Lodge.
18 months later he was appointed senior residential social worker.
In 1985 he was suspended after allegations were made by a number of boys but was reinstated a month later.
In 1988 he moved from Children s Services to Adult Services and worked with people with learning difficulties.
He was arrested in December 1997 and suspended by Calderdale Council. 

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