A former police chief accused of sexually abusing two teenage boys in the 1980s had links with convicted paedophiles and told one of his alleged victims he would "never see his family again" if he complained, a court has heard.

Ex-superintendent Gordon Anglesea is alleged to have used his position and "connections with authority" to carry out the abuse while running a "naughty boy school" in north Wales.

The opening day of his trial, on Wednesday (14 September), saw Mold Crown Court told how one victim was "handed around like a handbag" while another was forced to perform oral sex while being told he was "scum".

The 78-year-old was also spotted at the home of a convicted paedophile and visited the Bryn Alyn Children's Home in north Wales run by John Allen, currently jailed for life for sexually abusing youngsters there, the court heard.

Anglesea, of Colwyn Bay, denies three counts of indecent assault and one count of buggery between 1982 and 1987, against the two boys, who were aged 14 or 15 at the time.

The jury was told how the defendant ran a Home Office attendance centre in Wrexham in the 1980s, where tearaway teenage boys would be given a military-style regime of gym and drill parade sessions and woodwork classes on Saturday afternoons.

An inspector with North Wales Police in Wrexham at the time, it is claimed Anglesea would "inspect" the parade, make the youngsters do naked sit-ups and squat thrusts, then loiter around the showers "with a smirk on his face".

Three of the alleged assaults were said to have taken place at the attendance centre against one boy who was "last back to the showers" after a cross-country run.

The alleged victim later told police: "He was a powerful person. He's wrecked my life... it's wrong, supposed to be f*****g high up in the police and everything."

The other alleged victim said he was first sexually assaulted by John Allen while in care and living at the Bryn Alyn children's home, and the abuse sometimes involved other adults when he was "handed around like a handbag."

Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, said the victim described an occasion at a house in Mold in which Anglesea allegedly "grabbed him by the hair" and forced him to perform oral sex on him, calling him, "scum" and telling the boy he had the "power to send him away".

mold crown court
Gordon Anglesea's trial is being held at Mold Crown Court Getty

The alleged victim told police he only named Anglesea as his abuser in 2015 because he was still frightened, adding: "His power, his connections with authority and I wasn't sure I wanted to put myself at risk by making a complaint."

Laws told the jury: "The prosecution say Gordon Anglesea was in a position to abuse these two men when they were teenagers as a result of his position he held within the police force at the time, a time when the issue of institutional abuse and abuse by public figures was hard for most of us to believe, or want to believe and harder for complaints to be made."

Laws said there is a "connection" between the defendant and John Allen, who was first convicted of sexual abuse in 1995 and was jailed for life in 2014 for abusing 18 boys and one girl in his care.

Another man, who was abused by a paedophile ring involving John Allen, said he saw the defendant at the home of Gary Cooke, another man involved in the ring and a convicted paedophile.

Anglesea started his career with the police in Cheshire and transferred to Wrexham in 1976. He was promoted to the rank of inspector and ran the attendance centre between 1979 and 1987, before retiring as a superintendent in 1991.

He told police he had cause to attend at the Bryn Alyn and Bryn Estyn children's homes, which were in his Wrexham police patch, to administer cautions to boys.

The jury heard the alleged victims and witnesses had led "troubled" lives and Anglesea's defence case is that the allegations are simply "lies and inventions".

Laws added: "The prosecution say that Gordon Anglesea knew he was safe, who would believe them against him, at that time a high ranking police officer? And that of course is his defence now: look at who they are, how can you believe them?"

The trial, scheduled to last up to a month, continues.