Printer Friendly

'I just lay there, sobbing inside, waiting for it all to be over'.

Byline: By RACHEL MAINWARING Wales on Sunday

John Johnston lay in bed paralysed by fear. He was too shocked to cry but inside, he was sobbing. Aged just 14 and living in a children's home, he had fallen prey to sick paedophile Terry Goodhall, who had been assigned as his careworker.

But instead of caring for John or guiding him away from a life of shoplifting and petty crimes, he carried out dozens of sex assaults on the frightened teenager, who later moved to Wales for a fresh start.

Goodhall took part in one of Britain's biggest child-sex scandals at Tennal Assessment Centre in Birmingham.

When the home closed its doors in 1984, the pervert, along with four others - Colin Jeneson, Peter Brook, Eugene Devoti and Arthur Birch - thought they had got away with it.

But in 1999, the shattering truth began to emerge and after a massive police operation, the five were eventually jailed for a total of 37 years for their campaign of horrific sex abuse.

Birmingham City Council has paid out a total of pounds 1m to the 94 victims of the notorious paedophile ring.

John, who is making a new life for himself in Rhyl, received pounds 7,000 in damages but is still waiting for an apology from the council for his suffering.

And he has courageously waived his right to anonymity to reveal the true extent of the awful sex crimes that went unnoticed for decades.

The 41-year-old revealed: 'I grew up in Wolverhampton, with my twin brother, George, and my three sisters.

'My dad was a bit of a loveable rogue and I followed in his footsteps. I'd skip school and get involved in shoplifting - petty stuff really.

'By 1977, I was 14 and I'd been in and out of detention centres for a few years. After getting into another scrape I was told I was going somewhere called the Tennal Assessment Centre. My brother followed me there soon after.

'At first it seemed a holiday camp compared to the places I'd already been in and I remember meeting Terry Goodhall, who told me he was my careworker.

'He was 27, a bit younger than the others. He was a big man, an ex-England water polo player, and he'd tower over me.

'His two top front teeth were false. They'd slip in and out of his mouth and he'd move them round with his tongue as he talked. It made a horrible sucking sound. I can still hear that now.'

After just two weeks, Goodhall made his move on the youngster.

'I was 14, I didn't know what was going on and I just kept quiet. I didn't want to tell anyone,' he said.

From that day, Goodhall used any excuse to get John on his own.

'One week I'd got tonsillitis and was in bed in the dormitory. No-one was around and I was alone. Then Terry came in. He walked slowly over to the bed, sat down and began to talk. I knew exactly what was going to happen, but I was completely paralysed with fear. I just lay there, waiting for it to be over.

'The man was obsessed with me and the abuse happened every few days. When he used to approach me I'd cry. Not outwardly, but inside I was sobbing. I just wanted him to go away.'

The abuse went on for 18 months until John finally left the home. But the memories will haunt him forever.

'The effect it's had has stayed with me. I couldn't tell anyone for 25 years and I've had terrible nightmares where Terry chases me.

'It's even had an effect on the way I've been with my own children. When they were young I was very protective and if someone got too near them, I'd be thinking, 'If you don't get your hands off them, I'll fly for you'.

'As for Terry, if I saw him now, I'd probably kill him. That's just the way I feel.': THE PAEDOPHILE RING:Terence goodhall, care worker, 55: Former England water polo player, convicted of 14 indecent assaults and one buggery. Jailed for eight years in 2002. COLIN JENESON, housemaster, 59: Convicted of six indecent assaults, two buggeries and one attempted buggery. Jailed for eight years in 2004, cut to six years on appeal.

EUGENE DEVOTI, nightwatch- man, 83: Convicted of five indecent assaults. He was jailed for seven years in 2001.

ARTHUR BIRCH, nightwatch- man: Died in prison aged 82 in April 2002. A former Desert Rat, Birch was convicted of seven indecent assaults and three buggeries. Jailed for eight years in 2001.

PETER BROOK, care worker, 58: He was convicted of four indecent assaults, one buggery and one charge of gross indecency and jailed for eight years in 2002.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 14, 2005
Previous Article:Spanish holiday tragedy.
Next Article:Meat that's not murder.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters