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Kincora: Without protection, Richard Kerr is afraid to tell all

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Abuse survivor Richard Kerr

Abuse survivor Richard Kerr

KEVIN SCOTT / BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Kincora Boys' Home

Kincora Boys' Home

Kincora Boys Home in Belfast

Kincora Boys Home in Belfast

Home Secretray Theresa May

Home Secretray Theresa May

PA

Colin Wallace insists he has tried to expose the cover-up of the sex abuse scandal at Kincora

Colin Wallace insists he has tried to expose the cover-up of the sex abuse scandal at Kincora

Former Kincora residents Richard Kerr and Gary Hoy outside Belfast High Court

Former Kincora residents Richard Kerr and Gary Hoy outside Belfast High Court

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Abuse survivor Richard Kerr

Richard Kerr is still scared. He has been warned of Establishment feathers being ruffled. Living in Texas, he feels safe enough on the other side of the Atlantic, but is nervous of returning here again.

He last travelled here from his US home in February for a legal battle to demand that Kincora is investigated as part of a UK-wide public inquiry. This probe would have greater powers to get to the truth than Sir Anthony Hart's Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in Banbridge. Judgment in the case is still reserved.

"I'm still in some fear," he says tonight on Channel 4. "I need to know that I can have faith in our government. But right now, when they're not willing to bring Kincora into Westminster, the message that sends to me is that there's some kind of cover-up."

Mr Kerr pointed out that people like Ian Paisley senior have been accused of sexual misconduct on the internet - yet to Mr Kerr's knowledge, the former DUP leader was never involved in abuse, and two intelligence officers who have spoken out concur.

Other senior figures have more suspicion attaching to them. The Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith cases are well known. Now Enoch Powell is being investigated for Satanic child abuse, although nothing is proved. Other figures like Sir Knox Cunningham and Eric Witchell, an Anglican monk who worked for a time in the care system here, have been accused, as have senior politicians.

If such allegations are untrue they cannot be allowed to destroy reputations. But if they are true, we owe it to the victims to leave no stone unturned.

Colin Wallace, a former army intelligence officer, was the first to try and raise Kincora by leaking information to the Press. But his harrowing experience has had a chilling effect on others. He was forced out of the Army, wrongly imprisoned for manslaughter and decried as a Walter Mitty.

"One of the things that is now being realised here is that the breadth of the abuse is UK wide - Kincora is not isolated," Mr Wallace said. "Looking at it through the experience of one person really brings it home to you that this is all linked together. When I started out raising this it was difficult to believe that even Kincora was happening, never mind a wider paedophile ring.

"Now you have senior police officers in England saying they were threatened with the Official Secrets Act to stop them investigating. Richard Kerr's story supports that; his sincerity is clear."

Victims and whistleblowers must be allowed to speak out freely. The only way they will feel safe giving evidence is if they are compelled to do so by a legally enforceable subpoena and given watertight assurances.​

Further reading

Kincora

I will reveal the secrets, says ex-Army officer Colin Wallace

From the archives

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