First charges announced in historic sex abuse scandal into children’s homes around Mansfield and Ashfield

The first historic sex abuse charge has been brought against an alleged perpetrator as part of the police’s investigation into children’s homes around Mansfield and Ashfield, it has been confirmed.
Former Skegby Hall Care HomeFormer Skegby Hall Care Home
Former Skegby Hall Care Home

The 68-year-old man is facing seven allegations of sexual offences, including rape and indecent assault of girls dating back to between 1982 and 1987.

He is expected to appear before Mansfield Magistrates’ Court next month.

Nottinghamshire Police confirmed he was arrested as part of Operation Xeres, an investigation launched earlier this year into those allegedly subject to abuse at homes north of Nottingham.

It stemmed from Operation Daybreak, which was launched in 2010 focussing on allegations of abuse at homes within Nottingham.

But the sheer volume of survivors from homes outside of the city, including Skegby Hall, Laybrook and Berry Hill Open Air School in Mansfield, meant a separate investigation was needed.

The news of the prosecution has been welcomed by Davis Hollas MBE, who is leading the Nottinghamshire Child Sex Abuse (CSA) action group.

The group has been campaigning for justice, with more than 300 survivors having now come forward to tell of their horrific experiences at the hands of staff.

Mr Hollas said: “One of the biggest concerns is that Operation Daybreak has been going for five years and to our knowledge, there’s only been one prosecution. This, with Xeres, now brings it to two.

“It’s about time, it’s been going on long enough. With the number of survivors who have come forward, it’s improbable that nobody would be charged. We would expect more.

“The survivors feel it’s dragging.

“A lot of them are getting old and getting frustrated, they getting to the stage that they just want this over with.

“We accept that it has to be investigated properly, the police are not obliged to give a running commentary of what they are doing, but there’s a feeling that they are dragging their heels.

“It’s down to the survivors who have been brave enough to come forward and the whistle blowers. Hopefully they will continue to come forward.”

Xeres is looking into allegations between the 1940s and 1990s, relating to former care homes, schools and a youth detention centre.

The homes include Skegby Hall, YOI Whatton, Repton Lodge in Worksop, Laybrook, Berry Hill Open Air School and The Ridge in Mansfield, Amberdale in Stapleford, Ashley House in Worksop, South Collingham Hall, and Caudwell House in Southwell

The allegations range from low-level physical abuse to serious sexual abuse.