Monday, 29 February 2016

Jailed: Two former Coventry children's home staff who abused youngsters in the 1980s

Alan Todd, of Stretton-under-Fosse, and Kenneth Owen, of Lincolnshire, both worked at Wisteria Lodge in Earlsdo

Alan Todd (left) and Kenneth Owens. Both men were jailed for their role in the abuse of children at Wisteria Lodge children's home in Earlsdon.
Two bullying social workers who abused youngsters in their care in Coventry in the 1980s have been jailed.
Alan Todd and Kenneth Owen had been found guilty by a jury of physically and psychologically abusing children at the now-demolished Wisteria Lodge, in Earlsdon.
Todd, aged 70, who lives on a narrowboat at Stretton-under-Fosse, near Rugby, but formerly of Tile Hill, Coventry, was convicted of indecently assaulting two girls and five charges of cruelty towards four more girls and a boy.Owen, also 70, from Boston, Lincolnshire, was convicted offive charges of cruelty in relation to two girls and three boys.                                               Story Link Wisteria Lodge: Jury hears of abuse at former Coventry children's homeAt Warwick Crown Court today,                                                                                                                   Todd was jailed for eight years and eight months, while Owen got four years and two                  months.Both men had claimed the allegations against them had been fabricated by their victims,who were accused of colluding to make complaints in order to get compensation payments.Jailing the two men, Judge Alan Parker said: “The abuse of children by any adult in any circumstances whatsoever is profoundly wicked“In truth, it is barely comprehensible to right-thinking people; but what happened here goes far beyond the depths of wickedness and depravity which inevitably characterises the abuse of a child by an adultYou were residential social workers, and you used your positions in a children’s home systematically, persistently and determinedly to physically abuse children, as well as planned psychological abuse.The regime and conduct you were both responsible for was nothing less than a regime of terror, perpetuated by you in pursuit of sadistic pleasure.“You were meant to protect children, and yet you abused your respective positions to terrorise and cower those children, who were some of the most vulnerable people Coventry City Council were entrusted to protect.“I have no doubt each of you pursued your sadistic pleasure as a team of two, knowing each would protect and defend the other in the event of a complaint.

Wisteria Lodge in Earlsdon
Wisteria Lodge in Earlsdon

“But you felt secure from complaint because the children were never safe from you or empowered to make any complaint.
“Other staff, I am driven to conclude, knew full-well the extent and nature of the mistreatment by both of you. It could not have occurred without other workers knowing.
“What emerges is a culture of arrogant physical cruelty which was permitted by other professionals.
“In addition to the physical and psychological abuse, you Todd also pursued a campaign of sexual abuse.”
Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC had explained: “The case concerns the abuse of vulnerable children taken into the care of the local authority during the 1980s and placed in residential or foster care.
“The residential home was known as Wisteria Lodge. Since the events the building was first closed and, having stayed closed for some time, has since been demolished.
“The nature of the abuse the prosecution say this case concerns falls into three categories.
“Children were bullied and subjected to humiliating, frightening treatment which fell short of physical violence.
“Secondly, there were occasions when children were deliberately physically assaulted; and thirdly there were occasions when female children were sexually abused.”

Story Link Wisteria Lodge: former resident tells jury what happened to her was "horrendous"

Mr Heywood said that although both men were now 70, the offences took place when they were in their late 30s and early 40s and working as the Child Support Team at Wisteria Lodge, with Owen rising to become group leader and, for a time, Todd’s manager, and their victims were in their early teens.
Speaking after the men were sentenced, an NSPCC spokesman said: “These two men used the trust and authority their jobs gave them to carry out this campaign of cruelty on vulnerable children.
"It is deeply concerning that this went on for so long, but we hope the sentences imposed today send out a clear message that these appalling acts will not be tolerated. Hopefully this case will also encourage other victims of abuse to come forward in the knowledge that action will be taken.”

Mahad Aden
Mahad Aden
A man who stabbed a young woman repeatedly in a frenzied attack and then went on the run in Ethiopia has been jailed for 15 years.
Mahad Aden left his victim with scars on her face and body after pulling the knife on her while sat in her car.
He was angry that she would not drop charges against him for a previous attack where he punched her in the face and smothered her with a pillow.
After the knife attack in September 2013, 33-year-old Aden, a Somalian national, fled to Ethiopia and was only arrested upon his arrival back in the UK at Heathrow Airport in August 2015.
He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and was sentenced at Coventry Crown Court on Friday.
Aden, previously of Eden Street, Paradise, Foleshill , was handed an 11-year prison sentence, which was extended by another four years for the “public’s protection”.
His victim read out a tearful statement to the court and revealed that Aden had told her that if he got sent to prison, upon his release he would “hunt me down and kill me and if he couldn’t find me he would kill my family”.
Torcastle Close
Thomas Schofield, prosecuting, said that Aden and his victim had been in a “close, but not loving, relationship”.
He said: “On July 3, 2013, Aden wished to assert his control over her and punched her in the face. He then held a pillow over her head and tried to suffocate her.
“As she tried to flee he prodded her in the stomach with a screwdriver.”
She reported the attack to police and he repeatedly threatened her to try and get her to drop the charges.
Mr Schofield said: “He told her ‘You can make one call and drop the case; I can make one call and put a chip in your dad’s car and blow it up’.”
More threats followed in the run-up to the knife attack on September 16 that same year.
After missing around 30 phone calls from Aden, the victim eventually answered and agreed to pick him up in Coventry city centre .
She drove him to Torcastle Close, in Paradise, where he asked to her inside and when she refused he went “mad with rage”.
He punched her in the face and then pulled a knife out of his sock before repeatedly stabbing her.
When she eventually fell out of the car, he repeatedly kicked her while she was on the ground.
Eden Street
Eden Street
He fled the scene after two passers-by appeared, taking the victim’s mobile phone and car keys in the process.
She was left with a stab wound to her left cheek, which had entered her mouth, and also stab wounds to her neck, chest and hands, and a collapsed lung.
Reading out a victim statement to the court , the tearful lady said: “He punched me in the face full on - it felt like the back of my head swung back and hit the top of my back.
“When he started stabbing me I was still dazed. I put my hands up to my face and was looking down at the blood coming from my face.
“I knew if I didn’t get out of the car he would kill me.”
She added: “I have scars on my body, face, chest, chin, neck and hands.
“I can’t bare to look at myself in the mirror because of what I look like.
“I feel people are staring at me and judging me. I feel like a body walking around with no soul.

“I feel like my life has been taken away from me. I get so frustrated and angry that this has happened to me.

“I still have flashbacks and I can see his face in my eyes.
“I thought I was going to die.”
Jailing Aden, Recorder Thomas Rochford told him that he posed a danger to the public.
He said: “Your victim suffered serious injuries and is still suffering psychologically because of what you did to her.
“This was the end of the culmination of a campaign you had waged against her.”
Aden will have to serve a minimum of two thirds of his sentence before he is released

Man jailed for six years for rape of mum in house in Motherwell

Aaron Beresford told he had committed "one of the most serious offences in criminal law" as he is put behind 

Phil Dye/Wishaw Press
Beresford was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow
A man, who was convicted of rape after his victim managed to record his threats on her mobile phone, has been jailed for six years.
Aaron Beresford was found guilty of raping a 27-year-old mum at a house in Motherwell in March of last year.
Jurors rejected Beresford’s claim that he was aware of the audio recording and the victim asked him to make the comments.
Before jailing Beresford, Judge Sean Murphy QC told him: “You committed one of the most serious offences in criminal law.”
During the trial, the woman recalled trying to push Beresford off her during the attack.
The jury heard how the victim managed to record a number of Mr Beresford’s threats before the attack took place, later presenting the clip as evidence in court.
Beresford, who denied rape, gave evidence during the trial, telling the court he was aware of the recording as the woman had wanted him to do it.
The court heard that the woman eventually broke free and slapped Beresford before telling her mother what had happened.
Beresford’s claim that the woman wanted him to do it was branded “utterly ridiculous” by prosecutors.
In his closing speech to the jury, advocate depute Alan MacKay said: “His explanation is an insult to your collective intelligence.”
Beresford branded the woman “a liar” as he was led away to begin his sentence.
He continues to protest his innocence.


Sex attacker targeted women as they slept

Derby Crown Court

Derby Crown Court

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A sexual predator has been brought to justice after he crept in to the homes of two women during the cover of night while they were sleeping.

Derby Crown Court heard on Monday, February 29, how Wayne Buxton, 26, of Hawthorn Close, Woolley Moor, near Alfreton, had allegedly checked for open doors across a neighbourhood before he struck at the two victims’ homes.
Buxton was found guilty of two counts of trespassing with intent to commit a sexual offence and guilty to one count of sexual assault all between July 18 and July 25 last year after a trial in January.
During his sentencing hearing on Monday, he also admitted three counts of making indecent photos involving children between December 2007 and July 2015.
He had also been accused during the trial of entering the home of an 84-year-old woman and sexually assaulting her but the jury found him not guilty on these two counts - despite the fact it was agreed that this woman had been attacked by someone.
Judge John Burgess told Buxton: “Just reading about the facts would give anyone real concern that you were a dangerous offender.
“It’s the circumstances in which the offences of trespassing with intent are committed that gives real concern.
“These offences were committed in women’s homes in the early hours when people are expected to be asleep.

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Jailed: Soldier, 32, who repeatedly raped girl of 6

This Is Wiltshire: Mark Kelly repeatedly raped a six-year-old girl. He has been jailed for 19 years Mark Kelly repeatedly raped a six-year-old girl. He has been jailed for 19 years
A SOLDIER who repeatedly raped a six-year-old girl has been jailed for 19 years.
Mark Kelly bribed the child with chocolate sweets to get her to carry out sex acts on him when he was based in Lyneham.
And he also told her that she would be taken away from her family if she told anyone about what had happened as he abused her in 2014.
But the brave youngster plucked up the courage to tell her mum about what he was doing and a jury believed her, finding the 32-year-old guilty.
Kelly, who was in the 10th Signals Regiment, pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and two of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
At a first trial last year another jury failed to reach verdicts, but he was convicted of all four charges following a retrial at Swindon Crown Court last week.
And the defendant showed no signs of emotion both as the verdicts were returned and when the judge was handing down the lengthy jail term.
The court heard he abused the girl when she visited his home in Lyneham and also when he was allowed to take in his car to a cash machine in Royal Wootton Bassett.
But she told about what had taken place and, despite his denials he showed no emotions as a jury found his guilty of the sickening abuse.
Giles Nelson, prosecuting, said the family of the girl was devastated by what had happened to the girl at the hands of the defendant.
A victim statement from the mother said: "I feel sick to the stomach about what he has done to my child and that will be with me to the day I die."
Ed Burgess, defending, said his client, who gave the court an address in Bexley, Kent, had an exemplary army record having served for 13 years.
Jailing him Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "You took the opportunity to abuse her in a vile and depraved way, and perverted way, that the jury has heard about.
"Nobody could fail to notice as she gave her evidence her extreme innocence and you have taken that away from her.
"One can only speculate how she will be affected in the future by what you did.
"In addition you attempted to prevent her from telling anyone what was going on, from telling any other what you were doing to her.
"The impact on her will be numerous, incalculable and permanent."
As well as jailing him for 19 years he also imposed a sexual harm prevention order which will affect his liberties when he is released.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

The 76-year-old mastermind of the audacious jewellery raid is moved from prison to receive medical treatment.
17:51, UK,Friday 26 February 2016
Hatton Garden robber
One of the Hatton Garden raiders has reportedly been admitted to hospital while waiting to be sentenced for his role in the £14m heist.
It is believed Brian Reader, 76, who has been described as the mastermind behind the burglary, was moved from Belmarsh Prison on Wednesday.
A statement issued by the Prison Service said: "An HMP Belmarsh prisoner was taken to hospital on 24 February.
"He remains there in order to receive treatment for an ongoing medical condition. Appropriate security measures are in place."
Hatton Garden
Reader is thought to be being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for prostate cancer, although a spokesman for refused to comment due to patient confidentiality.
In January, a photograph of Reader surrounded by police officers being wheeled into an ambulance outside London's Kings College Hospital was published in The Sun.
A member of the public who took the picture said: "He looked like any other sick, old man in a wheelchair but was surrounded by police. Some had what looked like machine guns."
Who Is 'Basil'?
Dubbed the "Master" by his co-conspirators, the pensioner had been instrumental in planning the Hatton Garden heist, although he withdrew from the conspiracy when the group first struggled to get into the vault on the night of 2 April, 2015.
He was the oldest man involved in the raid and he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.
In 1983, Reader was jailed for eight years for his part in the £26m Brink's Mat gold bullion armed robbery at a Heathrow Airport warehouse.
Silhouettes of men stood at a bar
A graphic mock-up of a police board connecting evidence
A 3D graphic showing men climbing down an elevator shaft