Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Cyril Smith: Claims of more Abuse!

LAST week, a former direct of social services in Rochdale, Lyndon Price, told the Rochdale Observer that he had asked police in 1965 to look into claims that the former Rochdale MP, Cyril Smith, had interfered with young men at the Cambridge House boys hostel.  At the time Cyril Smith, then a Rochdale councillor in the Labour Party, was the secretary for the managing body at Cambridge House. 

The nature of the complaints were that Cyril Smith was taking it upon himself to administer disciplinary treatment on teenage boys at the residential hostel.  Mr. Price, now 79-year of age, said:  'The boy would be asked to take his trousers and pants down and he (Smith) would administer a smacking on his bare bottom.'

The police were told of the allegation by Lyndon Price, but later, when Mr. Price asked the then chief constable of Rochdale, Patrick Ross, how the investigation was going, he was told that 'it had been decided not to proceed'.  Mr. Price said he distinctly remembered that Patrick Ross had said 'it' had been decided and not 'he' had decided.  After that, Mr. Price, who was later director of social services in Rochdale from 1971 to 1984, said Patrick Ross had rushed off to another meeting before he was able to ask further questions on the issue.  Mr. Price told the Rochdale Observer that 'At the time I was a new social worker, still wet behind the ears.'  He added:  'I was no private eye or super sleuth and I thought I was doing the right thing passing it on to the police.'

Today's Rochdale Observer reports that the police have interviewed a man about alleged further abuse committed by Cyril Smith while he was a member of the governing body there from 1989.   Smith was chairman of the governors at Knowl View, a residential school for pupils with behavioural difficulties.  The Rochdale Observer now refers to Smith as 'the disgraced former Rochdale MP', and it reports that he 'had a set of keys giving him 24 hour access to the four dormitories at Knowl View in Norden Road, Bamford.' 

How times have changed!

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