Tuesday, 17 November 2015

3.1 Public inquiry reports into
abuse in children's homes 1967–2000
Table 1: Public inquiry reports into abuse in children's homes 1967–2000
Year Type of abuse Name Concerns and allegations Author
1967 Physical
Court Lees Approved
Excessive physical punishment of
residents by staff
Home Office (1967)
1985 Sexual Leeways Children's
Sexual abuse of residents by the
Lewisham, London
Borough of (Lawson, 1985)
1986 Sexual Kincora Working
Boy's Hostel
Sexual abuse of residents by a
staff member and existence of a
"paedophile” ring
Department of Health and
Social Security (Northern
Ireland), Hughes, 1986
1988 Physical
Melanie Klein House
for Girls
Excessive use of physical restraint Social Services
Inspectorate (1988)
1991 Physical and
Community Homes
in Staffordshire
County Council
Use of excessively punitive
Staffordshire County
Council (Levy, A. and
Kahan, B, 1991)
1991 Neglect Grove Park
Community Home,
Young people out of control and
taking drugs
Social Services
Inspectorate (1991a)
Erooga, M. Towards
safer organisations
1991 Physical
St Charles Youth
Treatment Centre
Use of drugs to restrain
resident Social Services
Inspectorate (1991b)
1992 Physical
Ty Mawr Community
Concerns about incidents of self-
harm and suicide by residents
Gwent County Council
(Williams and McCreadie,
1992 Physical Scotforth House
Residential School
Physical abuse of pupils with
learning difficulties
Lancashire County Council
1993 Sexual Castle Hill
Residential School
Physical abuse of pupils with
learning difficulties
Shropshire County Council
(Brannan, C, Jones, R and
Murch, J, 1993a)
1993 Sexual and
Community Homes
Sexual abuse of residents by head
of home and other staff members
Leicestershire County
Council (Kirkwood, 1993)
1994 Physical
Oxendon House Inappropriate restraint and
therapy techniques used by staff
on older children with emotional
and behavioural problems
Bedfordshire County
Council (Roycroft and
Witham, 1994)
1995 Neglect Islington:
Community Homes
Concerns about risks to children
from staff with previous child
abuse convictions
Islington, London Borough
of (White, and Hart, 1995)
1995 Sexual Meadowdale
Community Home
Sexual abuse of children with
learning difficulties
Northumberland County
Council (Kilgallon, 1995)
1999 Neglect Harrow: Community
Drug-related death of 13-year-old
girl living in a children's home:
concerns regarding failure to
Harrow ACPC, 1999
1999 Sexual Lambeth:
Community Home
Investigation into sexual abuse of
a boy in care by a member of staff
and the failure of the social
services department to make an
adequate response and its
Lambeth, London Borough
of (Barratt, 1999)
1999 Sexual Edinburgh:
Community Homes
Sexual abuse of children by the
heads of two homes in the
Edinburgh area
Edinburgh, City of
(Marshall, Jamieson, and
Finlayson, 1999)
2000 Sexual and
North Wales Tribunal
of Inquiry: all
residential homes and
schools in Clwyd and
Sexual and physical abuse in a
range of residential homes on
Clwyd and Gwynedd
(Waterhouse, 2000)
Source: (Corby et al, 2001)
3.2 Inquiry reports referre
d to in this report
The Leeways Inquiry Report
(Lawson, 1985)
This inquiry was into sexual abuse of residents,
including making indecent images, by the officer in
charge of Leeways Children's Home in Lewisham.
The report indicated that for some six years the
immediate managers were aware of unacceptable behaviour with sexual implications by the officer-
in-charge but did not act on those concerns.
The Hughes Report of the Inquiry into Children's Homes and Hostels
(Hughes, 1986),
often referred to as the Kincora Inquiry
In December 1981 three male members of the residentia
l staff were convicted of offences related to gross
sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of residents of
the Kincora Boys' Hostel in East Belfast, between
1960 and 1980. This led to investigations into abuse in nine boys' homes and hostels in Northern Ireland,
resulting in the conviction
of staff from other homes.
Concerns arising out of this led to the establishment
of various inquiries in 1982 and ultimately
the commissioning of the Hughes Report.
The Staffordshire Child Care Inquiry
, 1990 (Levy and Kahan, 1991), often referred to as
the Pindown Inquiry
Pindown was a highly controlling regime, loosely based on behaviour modification principles
introduced by area officer Tony Lath
am in children's homes in Staffordshire to deal with problematic
and behaviourally-challenging children in care.
Endorsed by management, Mr Latham himself
described it as a "narrow, punitive and harshly restri
ctive regime”. The authors of the inquiry report
described it as "intrinsically unethical, unprofessional and unacceptable” (p167).
Castle Hill Children's Home
(Brannan et al, 1993a; 1993b)
An independent special school for boys established
and co-owned in 1984 by its principal Ralph Morris.
Falsely claiming some of the academic qualificati
ons he purported to hold,
Mr Morris presented the
school to local authorities who might pay for boys
to attend as aspiring to create a therapeutic
community that would enable young people to devel
op. In fact he develope
d a regime described as
utterly restrictive, with fear used
to exercise control (Brannan et al
, 1993a). Several complaints were
made by boys about sexual abuse by Mr Morris and othe
r teachers without effect
before an investigation
finally took place. Corby et al (2001) suggest that
because of the behavioural problems of the children
placed at the school they were not regarded
as boys who were likely to be truthful.
Mr Morris was jailed for 12 years in 1991 for multiple
physical and sexual abuse of male pupils. The
social workers who led the investigation into the
school suggest that opportunity to abuse was an
underlying motivation for the conception and deve
lopment of Castle Hill (Brannan et al, 1993a).
Senior teacher John Duggan was sentenced to
two years' imprisonment for indecently assaulting
pupils and perverting the course of justice. He had
previously been dismissed as head of another
school following allegations of se
xual misconduct but, as he had not been convicted, was able to
move on to work in other schools.
The Leicestershire Inquiry 1992
(Kirkwood, 1993)
An inquiry into the management of children's homes in Leicestershire resulting from the sexual abuse
of residents over a 13-year period by Frank Beck,
officer in charge of four children's homes and
approved foster parent, convicted in 1991 for 17 o
ffences of physical and sexual abuse of residents.
Mr Beck was given five life sentences of impris
onment. Two other staff were also convicted of
physical or indecent assault.
A striking feature of the case was the high regard in which Mr Beck was held by his employers,
enabling him, with neither appropriate qualifications
nor any recognisable coherent theoretical basis
for his therapeutic regime, to establish a treatment
model of "regression therapy” that the inquiry
subsequently found was threatening, violent and humilia
ting. This level of regard also enabled him to
continue in post despite repeated complaints
about his behaviour toward children and staff.
Choosing with Care, 1992
(Warner, 1992), usually referred to as the Warner Report
An inquiry established in the wake of the Leicesters
hire Inquiry to review selection, development and
management of staff in children's homes. It pr
ovides detailed guidance for recruitment, selection,
appointment, training and oversight of residential staff.
An Abuse of Trust. The Report of the Social Services Inspectorate Investigation into
the case of Martin Huston, January 1994
(Social Services Inspectorate, 1994; see also
Erooga, 1994)
Martin Huston was convicted in October 1992 of 25
sexual offences against six boys aged between
nine and 13 years and sentenced to seven years'
imprisonment. Prior to his arrest Huston had come
into contact with a number of statutory and voluntary bodies, as a service user, a volunteer helper and
as a worker. At various times he had been a "ser
geant of cadets” in a voluntary ambulance corps
where he had some responsibility for the oversight
of younger people; a service user of various day
centres; and an employee of a voluntary organisation working as a project worker at a centre for the
single homeless from which he was suspended follo
wing allegations of sexual impropriety by a
service user. He was made redundant before those
allegations were investigated, and there was
insufficient evidence for the poli
ce to proceed. He was subsequen
tly convicted of sexual offences
against a mentally handicapped (sic) male
and placed on probation for two years.
Between that conviction and the time of his arrest
in 1991 he became involved with the Northern
Ireland Association for the Care and Resettleme
nt of Offenders (NIACRO) as a student, work
placement trainee and volunteer.
The inquiry made a number of recommendations relating to various aspects of the recruitment of staff
and volunteers and the management of sex offenders.
Familiar themes that emerged, however, related
to the need for professional and organisational understanding of the significance of potential and
actual abusive sexual behaviour, child protecti
on procedures, inter-agency communication and
selection processes for staff and volunteers.
Recommendations from the inquiry are discussed be
low in consideration of issues relating to
volunteers in section 8.2.
The Allitt Inquiry
(Clothier, 1994)
Beverley Allitt was an enrolled nurse on a paediatric
ward sentenced to life imprisonment for four
murders, three attempted murders and six instances of
grievous bodily harm to children in her care.
This followed incidents where nine babies and child
patients collapsed unexp
ectedly, the unexpected
deaths of three other children on the ward of the
hospital where she was working and the death of a
baby shortly after discharge from the ward.
The inquiry commented that considering her beha
viour at work, "...the overwhelming burden of the
evidence was that she did indeed appear to be lik
e everybody else” (para 5.7.2). It also found that
references were not taken up and recruitment procedures not followed. It concluded, however, that
having done so would not have el
iminated Ms Allitt from nursing.
Report of the independent inquiry into multiple abuse in nursery classes in Newcastle
upon Tyne
(Hunt, 1994)
Inquiry into the sexual abuse of children in two
schools' nursery classes by a 20-year-old student on
placement, Jason Dabbs, between September 1991 and July 1992. Mr Dabbs was subsequently
sentenced to seven years' imprisonme
nt for indecently assaulting 12 children.
The case raises the issue of student selection for trai
ning courses that include contact with children
(eg in placement), the inquiry making the point that "...the supervision of a student while on
placement in a nursery class cannot of itself be regarded as an absolute safeguard against crimes of
this type” (4.3.7).
The issue of screening of students before place
ments involving access to children is returned to
below, in section 8.3.
Lost in Care – the public inquiry into the systematic abuse of children in care
in residential establishments and foster homes in North Wales since 1974
(Waterhouse, 2000)
Following inquiries into issues relating to cases of ab
use in out-of-home care in Gwynedd and Clwyd,
not all of which were made public, this inquiry w
as established to review and publish findings about
the physical and sexual abuse of children (predominan
tly boys) in care over a 25-year period in any
children's home in Clwyd and Gwynedd. At the point
the inquiry was established 17 people had been
convicted of relevant offences, 12 of whom had
been employed in children's homes and four from
foster families. The inquiry report made 72 r
ecommendations and was instrumental in the
establishment of the post of Independent Children's Commissioner for Wales.
The Bichard Inquiry Report – An independent inquiry arising from the Soham murders
(Bichard, 2004)
and the
North East Lincolnshire Area Child Protection Committee
(ACPC) Serious Case Review relating to Ian Huntley in North East Lincolnshire,
(Kelly, 2004)
The Bichard Report resulted from the inquiry into
the circumstances surrounding the case of Ian
Huntley, a caretaker in a community college wher
e he had contact with children, who had been
screened and selected as a suitable employee, but who
was subsequently convicted of the murder of
two 11-year-old girls from a primary school whom
he met through his partner, Maxine Carr, a
teaching assistant at their school.
The Kelly Report reviewed the issues relating to Mr
Huntley's history prior to his move to Soham
where he took up the post of school caretaker. It
found that Mr Huntley had had a number of sexual
relationships with young women aged between 13 a
nd 17 years, all except one of which was abusive
and illegal by virtue of age.
In addition, he was implicated in four allegations of rape between April
1998 and July 1999.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murd
ers, and Ms Carr to a term of imprisonment for
conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Erooga, M.
Executive Summary Report of the Serious Case Review
by Gloucestershire
Safeguarding Children Board (GSCB) into the care given to five children who were
placed in the care of a single carer, Mrs Eunice Spry (Lock, 2007)
Mrs Spry was variously an adoptive parent, a ch
ildminder, and a private and subsequently local
authority foster carer from 1979 and was convicted in March 2007 for 26 offences involving abuse of
three children, including child cruelty, unlawful wounding, actual bodily harm, perverting the course
of justice and witness intimidation.
The court heard that she had beaten the children with sticks and
metal bars, scrubbed their skin with sandpaper and
forced them to eat lard, bleach, vomit and their
own faeces. During the five-week trial she denied a
ny wrongdoing, insisting she had simply tried to
instil Christian values into them. Mrs Spry was sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment.

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