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Samantha Morton:

I was sexually abused as a child in care homes

Video    Guardian Interviews    G    12 September 2014


Following revelations of child sex abuse in Rotherham,

actor and director Samantha Morton

felt the need to go public about her own shocking experience

growing up in care homes in Nottingham.


Here she talks for the first time

about being sexually abused by residential care workers,

and what happened when she went to the police about it.


Sexual abuse victim support






















Shannon's mother sobs

as she denies involvement in kidnap conspiracy

• 'Violent' partner and allies accused of frame-up

• Defendant says she was told to take blame for plot

The Guardian        pp. 16-17

Friday 28 November 2008
















child abuse











































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abuse > Baby P    2007-2009

















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UK > Independent Inquiry

into Child Sexual Exploitation

in Rotherham (1997-2013)        UK / USA


Independent inquiry CSE in Rotherham

Information relating to the Independent Inquiry

into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham




















































sex offender

Sir James (Jimmy)  Wilson Vincent Savile (1926-2011) abuse scandal
































































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Jersey child abuse investigation / Jersey 'punishment room'












abuse / neglect > harmed children












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the killing of Baby P        2008






Shannon Matthews kidnap        2008








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sexual abuse / sex abuse










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be coerced into having sex with N























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Corpus of news articles


UK > Violence >


Sexual violence > Child abuse, Rape




Abuse Cases in British City

Long Ignored, Report Says


1,400 Children in Rotherham, England,
Were Sexually Abused, Report Says


AUG. 26, 2014

The New York Times



LONDON — A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags.

Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers, the report said, and others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act.

Within hours of the report’s publication, the leader of the local government council resigned.

“Having considered the report, I believe it is only right that I, as leader, take responsibility on behalf of the council for the historic failings that are described so clearly in the report, and it is my intention to do so,” said Roger Stone, the leader of the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council since 2003.

The vast majority of perpetrators have been identified as South Asian and most victims were young white girls, adding to the complexity of the case. Some officials appeared to believe that social workers pointing to a pattern of sexual exploitation were exaggerating, while others reportedly worried about being accused of racism if they spoke out. The report accused officials of ignoring “a politically inconvenient truth” in turning a blind eye to men of Pakistani heritage grooming vulnerable white girls for sex.

It was not until 2010 that the first case of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, a South Yorkshire city of about 250,000 people, made it to court. Five men received long prison sentences for grooming three teenage girls for sex. It was one of several high-profile prosecutions over the past four years that revealed sexual exploitation in cities including Oxford, Rochdale and Derby.

The Times of London later published a series of articles claiming that the local authorities had been aware of several instances of sexual abuse that were not prosecuted. The Rotherham Council eventually commissioned an independent inquiry that led to Tuesday’s report.

Alexis Jay, the author of the report and a former chief inspector of social work, said that vulnerable girls as young as 11 and largely from disadvantaged backgrounds had been brutalized by groups of men.

“They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated,” she wrote.

The report described the failures of the political and police leadership as blatant. Even as social workers reported that the sexual exploitation of children was becoming a serious problem in Rotherham, senior managers in the local authority and South Yorkshire police ignored them. When victims came forward, Ms. Jay said, the police often regarded them “with contempt.”

Three earlier reports, published from 2002 to 2006, detailed the abuse, and according to Ms. Jay, “could not have been clearer in the description of the situation in Rotherham.” But the first one was “effectively suppressed” and the other two “ignored,” she said.

Some officials were apparently ordered by their managers to withhold information on the ethnic origin of the abusers, the report said. As a result, no contact was made with local Pakistani leaders for help in identifying gangs that continued to assault and abduct teenagers.

A version of this article appears in print on August 27, 2014, on page A11 of the New York edition with the headline: Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says.

Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says,






Jimmy Savile abused children

at 14 hospitals across six decades

- report

Savile's offending footprint
was vast, predatory and opportunistic
as he 'groomed the nation', say Met police


Friday 11 January 2013
13.05 GMT

Sandra Laville and Josh Halliday
This article was published on guardian.co.uk
at 13.05 GMT on Friday 11 January 2013.
It was last modified at 14.53 GMT
on Friday 11 January 2013.
It was first published at 10.23 GMT
on Friday 11 January 2013.


Jimmy Savile abused children across six decades at 14 hospitals including Great Ormond Street and a children's hospice, according to a police report. He also carried out 14 alleged assaults at schools.

Commander Peter Spindler of the Metropolitan police said Savile used his fame and celebrity status to "hide in plain sight", adding that he had "groomed the nation".

The report into his activities reveals his offending spans from 1955-2009. Most of his victims were children – 73% – and he committed most of the offences when he was aged between 40 and 50.

Spindler said the report "paints a stark picture emphasising the tragic consequences of when vulnerability and power collide. His offending footprint was vast, predatory and opportunistic".

Some of the hospitals where the TV and radio presenter abused children are: Leeds general infirmary, Great Ormond Street, Exeter hospital, Saxondale mental health hospital in Nottinghamshire, and Wheatfield hospice in Leeds, a Sue Ryder hospice for dying children.

According to the report, called Giving Victims a Voice, 450 victims have come forward to allege incidents, and Savile committed 214 criminal offences in 28 areas of England and Wales.

Savile offended while working at the BBC between 1965 and 2006, the year he sexually assaulted a teenage girl at the final recording of Top of the Pops. Most of the victims were aged between 13 and 16.

Savile raped 34 people, including 28 children. He used every opportunity and every institution to which he had access because of his fame to target young people.

Fifty-seven of the allegations took place in 14 hospitals and a hospice in the UK. He assaulted 16 victims at Leeds general infirmary, one at Great Ormond Street hospital and he assaulted someone who was visiting a dying child at the Sue Ryder Wheatfield hospice in Leeds. At Great Ormond Street the child Savile abused died, but someone who witnessed what happened came forward.

He also assaulted children and young girls 33 times in TV and radio studios and there were 14 assaults in schools. Savile was invited into the schools – which have not been named – by children who wanted to appear on Jim'll Fix It, police said.

The youngest of Savile's victims was an eight-year-old boy who he touched sexually, and his last victim was a 46-year-old woman who was assaulted in 2009.

DS David Gray, who led the inquiry, said: "He has spent every minute of every working day thinking about this. Whenever an opportunity came along he took it. He picked on vulnerable victims and he was clever enough to choose people who he knew would not speak out."

Gray said he expected the number of crimes recorded to rise above 214.

The Crown Prosecution Service said in a separate report released on Friday that had police and prosecutors taken a different view to allegations from four women as recently as 2007 Savile may have been brought to justice.

The director of public prosecutions, Kier Starmer QC, issued a statement on Savile's offending. He said the report by Alison Levitt QC on the CPS's handling of cases brought before it had concluded the investigations into four complaints from women by Surrey and Sussex police could have been dealt with differently.

"Whilst most of the complainants continue to speak warmly of the individual officers with whom they had contact, most of those spoken to by Ms Levitt QC have said that, had they been given more information by the police at the time of the investigation, and in particular had each been told that she was not the only woman to have complained, they would probably have been prepared to give evidence.

"Having spoken to the complainants, Ms Levitt QC has concluded that, although there are a number of imponderables, had the police and prosecutors taken a different approach a prosecution might have been possible in relation to three of the four allegations."

The CPS review revealed how Savile had batted away the allegations made by four women in 2007-08 of past abuse. He told Surrey police in 2009 that the sexual assault complaints against him were "invented" and an "occupational hazard" for a famous entertainer.

Savile made the comments when he was interviewed under caution. He told police he had a "policy" for dealing with sexual assault complaints made against him and that he had sued five newspapers in the past. A police log of the interview records Savile as saying: "If this [these allegations] does not disappear then my policy will swing into action."

His offending took place predominantly in Leeds and London, his home town and his main work location respectively.

Gray said Savile was not part of a paedophile ring but detectives were investigating whether he was part of a loose network of paedophiles who knew each other and took advantage of their position to sexually abuse children.

The report said the institutions and agencies that missed past opportunities to stop Savile must do all they can to ensure their procedures for safeguarding children are as robust as possible.

"Only then can the victims who have come forward be reassured that it is unlikely to happen again."

Gray said: "The offences started before he was a BBC celebrity but it seems clear that his peak offending coincided with his peak status."

He said Savile did not order victims to be silent, he just abused them then discarded them. "His force of personality was powerful. He dismissed his victims afterwards; he did what he wanted to do then just discarded them and they were too frightened to speak out."

The prime minister's spokesman said: "These are further appalling allegations. What is required is that every organisation involved has to investigate what has gone on and get to the bottom of it.

"There are a series of investigations that were already ongoing into a number of hospitals. The Department of Health had already announced that Kate Lampard QC was overseeing those and she will also report to the secretary of state on what lessons can be learnt for the health system as a whole."

Jimmy Savile abused children
at 14 hospitals across six decades - report,
G, 11.1.2013,






Child sex trafficking in UK on the rise

with even younger victims targeted

White, black and Asian children at risk
with abusers using mobiles
and web to groom victims, say Barnardo's


Monday 17 January 2011
The Guardian
Alexandra Topping
This article appeared
on p3 of the Main section section
of the Guardian on Monday 17 January 2011.
It was published on guardian.co.uk
at 00.01 GMT on Monday 17 January 2011.
It was last modified at 01.08 GMT
on Monday 17 January 2011.


The trafficking of British children around UK cities for sexual exploitation is on the increase with some as young as 10 being groomed by predatory abusers, a report reveals today.

The average age of victims of such abuse has fallen from 15 to about 13 in five years, according to the report by Barnardo's, the UK's biggest children's charity.

But victims continue to be missed as telltale signs are overlooked "from the frontline of children's services to the corridors of Whitehall," said Anne Marie Carrie, the charity's new chief executive.

"Wherever we have looked for exploitation, we have found it. But the real tragedy is we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg," she said.

Calling for a minister to be put in charge of the government's response, she said: "Without a minister with overall responsibility the government response is likely to remain inadequate."

The main findings from the report, called Puppet on a String, include:

• Trafficking becoming more common and sexual exploitation more organised.

• Grooming methods becoming more sophisticated as abusers use a range of technology – mobile phones, including texts and picture messages, Bluetooth technology, and the internet – to control and abuse children.

The charity dealt with 1,098 children who had been groomed for sex last year, a 4% increase on the previous year.

A recent focus on the ethnicity of abusers risks putting more children in danger, said Carrie. "I am not going to say that ethnicity is not an issue in some geographical areas, it clearly is. But to think of it as the only determining factor is misleading and dangerous."

The issue has come under the spotlight after cases in Derby, where ringleaders of a gang of Asian men were jailed for grooming girls as young as 12 for sex, and in Rochdale, where nine mainly Asian men were arrested on Tuesday last week on suspicion of grooming a group of white teenage girls.

Carrie warned of the risk of the issue becoming dangerously simplified after comments from the former home secretary Jack Straw, who said some Pakistani men saw white girls as "easy meat".

The charity dealt with white, black and Asian victims, she said – whose voices were being lost. "Profiling and stereotyping is dangerous – we are scared that victims will say: 'I don't fit into that pattern, so I'm not being abused'."

The report identifies many different patterns of abuse, ranging from inappropriate relationships to organised networks of child trafficking.

Of Barnardo's 22 specialist services surveyed for the report, 21 had seen evidence of the trafficking of children through organised networks for sex, often with multiple men.

Among the cases highlighted is Emma, who met her first "boyfriend" when she was 14. In his 30s, he bought her presents, said he loved her, then forced her to have sex with his friends. She was shipped around the country and raped by countless men. "I got taken to flats, I don't know where they were and men would be brought to me. I was never given any names, and I don't remember their faces," she said.

The "inappropriate relationship" usually involved an older abuser with control over a child. Such cases included Sophie, who was 13 when she met her "gorgeous" 18-year-old boyfriend at a cousin's 21st birthday party. After initially treating her well, he isolated her from her family and became violent. When police rescued her, they told her the man was 34, with a criminal record for child abuse. "I said they were lying. I thought I was in love, I thought it was normal," she said.

The "boyfriend" model, sees girls groomed, often by a younger man, who passes her on to older men. In one case an Asian teenager from the north-west described being dragged out of a car by her hair by her "boyfriend", who took her to a hotel room "to have his friends over and do what they wanted to me".

Boys are also vulnerable: a 14-year-old, Tim, was groomed by one man then expected to have sex with many more. "After a while there would be three or four guys all at once. It was horrible and very scary," he said.

Abusers are increasingly using the internet and mobile phone technology to control victims. Teens are being coerced into sending, or posing for, sexually explicit photos which are then used to blackmail and control them, said Carrie. "The abuser then sells the images, and threatens to send the pictures to the girl's parents or school if she does not do x, y and z."

Often abusers target the most vulnerable: children in care, foster homes or from chaotic backgrounds. But children of all backgrounds are at risk, said Carrie.

Penny Nicholls, director of children and young people at The Children's Society, said the Barnardo's findings echoed their experiences. "We join Barnardo's in calling on the government to take urgent action, ensuring a minister has special responsibility for overseeing a countrywide response to combat sexual exploitation."

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "This is a complex problem and we are determined to tackle it effectively by working collaboratively right across government and with national and local agencies."

Child sex trafficking in UK on the rise
with even younger victims targeted,
G, 17.1.2011,







Haut de la Garenne

children's home abuse scandal

ends with one last conviction

Three-year probe ends in jail sentences
for 'bullying' couple


Friday 7 January 2011
The Guardian
Ian Cobain
This article appeared on p14 of the Main section section
of the Guardian on Friday 7 January 2011.
It was published on guardian.co.uk at 08.34 GMT
on Friday 7 January 2011.
It was last modified at 12.48 GMT
on Friday 7 January 2011.


A long-running child abuse investigation that brought turmoil to the island of Jersey has finally ended with the conviction of two former children's home workers.

Morag Jordan and her husband Anthony were jailed for a series of assaults they inflicted on children at the Haut de la Garenne home over a period of more than 10 years in the 1970s and 80s. Five others - not all of them connected to the home - had previously been convicted of a number of sexual assaults as a result of the investigation, and received sentences of up to 15 years in jail.

Police say their three-year investigation, Operation Rectangle, has now ended.

The inquiry faced a series of criticisms, both from leading political figures on the island and from senior officers flown in from the mainland to review its progress. At one point, police said they believed they had recovered the remains of a child from the cellar of the home, only to later admit what they had thought to be a fragment of skull was a piece of coconut shell.

Despite the criticism, evidence of widespread abuse at the home was discovered: as well as the seven people convicted, police gathered evidence that could have led to the prosecution of a further 30 people who died before they could be brought before the courts.

Jordan and her husband, both 62, from Kirriemuir, Angus, were found guilty in November of eight separate charges.

During the two-week trial at the Royal Court of Jersey, they were accused of inflicting "casual and routine violence" while working as houseparents at Haut de la Garenne. Prosecutors said they acted like "intimidating bullies" and had carried out "frequent and callous" assaults on vulnerable residents.

Jordan was jailed for nine months and her husband for six months. Some of their victims sat in the court's public gallery to hear the sentences.

Morag Jordan was employed as a housemother between 1970 and 1984. She was convicted of charges relating to assaults on four children. Her husband was found guilty of common assault against two children. Morag Jordan was acquitted of a further 28 counts and her husband four.

Others convicted as a result of the abuse inquiry were:

• Gordon Claude Wateridge, found guilty of assault on three girls while working as a houseparent between 1969 and 1979

• Claude James Donnelly, jailed in 2009 for 15 years for rape and indecent assault

• Michael Aubin, given two years probation for sexual offences at Haut de la Garenne between 1977 and 1980

• Ronald George Thorne, convicted of gross indecency between 1983 and 1984, spent 12 months in prison

• Leonard Miles Vandenborn, jailed for 12 years for the rape and indecent assault of two young girls in the 1970s and 80s.

Last month, Jersey's chief minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, apologised to all the children who suffered abuse at Haut de la Garenne. He told the island's parliament, the States of Jersey: "On behalf of the island's government, I acknowledge that the care system that operated historically in the island of Jersey failed some children in the States' residential care in a serious way. To all those who suffered abuse, whether confirmed by criminal conviction or not, the island's government offers its unreserved apology."

A number of victims are now bringing civil proceedings against the island's government.

Last July, a report commissioned from Wiltshire police levelled 19 criticisms at the investigation. It concluded that senior officers lacked leadership skills and worked ineffectively with the media, pointing out that the £7.5m cost of the investigation included more than £1m spent on travel, meals, hotels and entertainment.

At one point the island's chief police officer, Graham Power, was suspended, although disciplinary action was later abandoned. Power always denied any wrongdoing.

Haut de la Garenne was opened in 1867 as an industrial school for "young people of the lower classes of society and neglected children". During the second world war, occupying German forces used it as a signal station, and in 1945 it became a children's home again. There had been rumours for decades that children were suffering sexual and physical abuse – suspicions that the island's authorities appeared reluctant to investigate.

Senior police officers opened their inquiry in September 2007 and took 1,776 statements from 192 former child residents who identified around 150 people as abusers. A number of former residents went public to tell of their ordeal. Peter Hannaford, one of Jersey's leading trade union officials, who was sent to the home as an orphaned child, waived his right to anonymity to tell the Jersey Evening Post how his earliest memories were of abuse.

"Boys and girls were raped when I was there," he said. "The abuse was anything from rape and torture. It happened every night. And it happened to everyone."



• This article was amended on 7 January 2011 to clarify

that not all of the five people mentioned

as previously convicted

of sexual assaults were connected

to the Haut de la Garenne home.

Jersey: Haut de la Garenne children's home abuse scandal
ends with one last conviction,






Baby P abuse

could and should have been stopped,

finds report

• Agencies were 'lacking urgency', 'lacking thoroughness'
• Staff should be 'deeply sceptical' of parents' excuses


Friday 22 May 2009

11.07 BST


James Sturcke and agencies


The "horrifying" abuse and killing of Baby P "could and should have been prevented", according to the second serious case review, parts of which were published today.

Doctors, lawyers, police and social workers should have been able to stop the situation "in its tracks at the first serious incident", the executive summary of the report said.

Even after the boy, who was named Peter, was put under a child protection plan, his case was regarded as routine "with injuries expected as a matter of course". Agencies were "lacking urgency", "lacking thoroughness" and "insufficiently challenging to the parent".

The review, carried out by the Haringey local safeguarding children board, found that agencies "did not exercise a strong enough sense of challenge" when dealing with Peter's mother and their outlook was "completely inadequate" to meet the challenges of the case.

The review was commissioned by the children's secretary, Ed Balls, because of concerns over the conclusions of the first review.

Today's report concluded that Peter "deserved better from the services that were there to protect him". It found that agencies would only have been willing to move him if the injuries he suffered were found to be "non-accidental beyond all reasonable doubt".

"When such injuries did come they were catastrophic, and he died of them," the review found. "The panel deeply regrets the responses of the services were not sufficiently effective in protecting him."

Graham Badman, the chairman of the safeguarding children board, said: "I believe the most important lesson arising from this case is that professionals charged with ensuring child safety must be deeply sceptical of any explanations, justifications or excuses they may hear in connection with the apparent maltreatment of children. If they have any doubt about the cause of physical injuries or what appears to be maltreatment, they should act swiftly and decisively."

He said every member of staff in the agencies involved with the case had been "appropriately qualified, well motivated and wanted to do their best to safeguard him … but his horrifying death could and should have been prevented.

"The serious case review says that if doctors, lawyers, police officers and social workers had adopted a more urgent, thorough and challenging approach, the case would have been stopped in its tracks at the first serious incident. It's a dreadful tragedy that he did not receive better protection."

The findings come after documents revealed that council lawyers at the centre of the case have privately admitted there was probably sufficient evidence to justify taking Peter into care days before he was killed.

The admission contradicts the legal advice given to social workers a week before the toddler died that proceedings to remove him from his family could not go ahead because the risk "threshold" to trigger an application to take him into care had not been crossed.

Baby P abuse could and should have been stopped, finds report,










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