Full set of reports from the 1991 Frank Beck Trial #1

Below is a long series of reports from the 1991 Leicestershire trial of Frank Beck, which I believe may be very important in coming times. All names of victims, published at the time and appearing in the articles on Nexis, have been redacted. Subsequent reports will appear in another post later.


The Independent
(London)

June 24, 1991, Monday

Children’s home staff charged in abuse inquiry

BYLINE: By JACK O’SULLIVAN, Social Services Correspondent

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 494 words

THE LARGEST case involving allegations of sexual and physical abuse in children’s homes has emerged in Leicestershire, after an 18-month police investigation spanning three continents.

A former social worker who was responsible for three of the county’s children’s homes has been charged with 29 offences against children relating to allegations of serious sexual and physical abuse over 12 years.

The allegations follow a police investigation extending to the United States, Europe and the Middle East to trace former residents of the home. Two other former staff face related charges.

Many former residents have come forward to allege that between 1974 and 1986 they suffered abuse including buggery, actual bodily harm, gross indecency and physical assault. Some former members of staff claim they also suffered abuse.

Det Insp Kelvin Ashby, who is leading the Leicestershire police investigation, said last night that it was the largest case that he had heard of involving abuse allegations in children’s homes.

The main charges are against Frank Beck, 49, who between 1974 and 1986 was officer in charge variously of Rose Hill home, Market Harborough, Ratcliffe Road home, Leicester, and The Beeches, Leicester Forest East.

They were community homes with educational facilities, each catering for 12 to 15 teenage boys and girls in local authority care. The Beeches was the last of the three to close, in January.

Peter Martin Jaynes, 42, deputy officer in charge at Ratcliffe Road, when the offences are alleged to have occurred, has been charged with three lesser connected offences. George Charles Lincoln, 39, former deputy officer in charge at The Beeches and Rose Hill, faces one charge.

The trial of the three men is due to start at Leicester Crown Court on 16 September, and is expected to last six to eight weeks. Mr Jaynes and Mr Lincoln have been bailed and Mr Beck has been remanded in custody. None of the men has worked for the local authority since 1986.

A former resident approached the police early last year and named other alleged victims. After that, the case is said to have snowballed. Some former residents are in their thirties, with children of their own.

Brian Waller, Leicestershire’s social services director, said last night: ”I cannot comment on the trial. What I can state with confidence is that Leicestershire’s community homes currently provide a safe environment for children in care.”

The Government is revising draft guidelines after last month’s ”pin-down” inquiry into solitary confinement in Staffordshire children’s homes. It found that two members of a paedophile ring had visited two of the homes.

The Home Office and the Department of Health are discussing proposals for better access to police records on people convicted of sexual offences living near children’s homes.

The National Children’s Bureau is holding a conference in London today to discuss the future of residential care.


Press Association

September 11, 1991, Wednesday

SECTION: HOME NEWS

LENGTH: 128 words

The Crown Prosecution Service has issued the following note for the guidance of editors on behalf of the Attorney General’s Chambers: “The attention of the Attorney General has been drawn to the publication of material said to be contained in reports by Barry Newell about his findings after an inquiry into Leicestershire Social Services. “Editors should be aware that the trial of Frank Beck and two others, who were charged following a separate police investigation, is due to commence on Monday September 16 1991 at Leicester Crown Court. “The Attorney General wishes to remind editors of their obligation not at any time to publish material which gives rise to a substantial risk of serious prejudice in the proceedings. “Further inquiries: 071 828 7155.


The Times

September 27, 1991, Friday

Woman and two men accuse care officer of sex abuse

BYLINE: Craig Seton

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 410 words

A SENIOR child care officer accused of sexually abusing children was alleged to have argued with a boy about visiting ”a man called Greville Janner”, Leicester crown court was told.

Giving evidence on Monday, the fifth day of the trial, a woman, now aged 31, claimed that she had heard an argument between the boy and Frank Beck, the officer in charge of the Ratcliffe Road children’s home in Leicester. The woman, who alleged that she had been repeatedly raped by Mr Beck when she was aged about 15, was asked by Peter Joyce, QC, for the prosecution, whether she had ever heard arguments between Mr Beck and any boys at the home.

She told the court: ”Frank Beck and Mr A arguing about Greville Janner. He (Mr Beck) was not going to let him go and visit Greville Janner.”

The woman was cross-examined on Tuesday by John Black, for Mr Beck. He asked her: ”It was an argument, wasn’t it, about him going off to see a man called Greville Janner?” The woman replied: ”He was shouting to Paul that he wasn’t going to see Greville Janner any more.” Mr Black asked the woman if Mr A used to boast about being a rent boy. She replied: ”When he first came to the home, yes he did.”

The woman had claimed that she had faked pains to have an appendix operation to escape sexual abuse: ”I just wanted to get away. I was certain I would be able to tell someone and never go back, but it didn’t work.”

She told the court from behind a screen that she was petrified of Mr Beck because he had threatened to send her back to a psychiatric unit. She said that Mr Beck had had sexual contact with her about 30 times.

Some of the adults who were children when they were allegedly abused broke down when they gave evidence from behind a screen. Their evidence was relayed from a camera in front of the witness stand to the dock, where Mr Beck and two other defendants were able to see them on a television monitor.

Mr B, now 26, shouted at Mr Beck and broke down during his evidence about abuse he allegedly suffered when he was aged nine or ten. He told the court: ”It was awful. The bastards. It was a nightmare in that kids’ home.” He claimed to have suffered rib injuries when he was attacked by Mr Beck after running away. Mr C, now 20, alleged he was eight when Mr Beck began to abuse him at Ratcliffe Road. He claimed he was sexually abused during bathtime sessions.

The hearing continues today.


The Times

September 27, 1991, Friday

Head of children’s home ‘in 13-year reign of terror’

BYLINE: By Craig Seton

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 655 words

CHILDREN as young as eight were sexually and psychologically abused and beaten during a 13-year reign of terror by the man in charge at three council-run children’s homes, Leicester crown court has been told.

It was alleged that nobody tried to stop Frank Beck, aged 48, who was the officer in charge of children in Leicestershire social services’s care between 1973 and 1986.

The court was told that boys between the ages of eight and 16 were buggered, indecently assaulted or beaten, a girl was repeatedly raped and four social workers were forced to submit to buggery or indecent assault. Many of the children, now adults, are giving evidence from behind a screen against Mr Beck, who ran the homes in Leicester and Market Harborough, and two former residential care officers.

Peter Joyce, QC, prosecuting, said: ”It was a tunnel of darkness in which they found themselves. There was no escape. If they ran away or did something wrong, they were sent straight back into the darkness. There was no ray of light for these children. There was simply the endurance of it.”

Mr Beck, formerly of Leicester, is facing 29 charges relating to 17 males and one female. They include 12 charges of buggery, two of attempted buggery, one of rape, seven of indecent assault and seven of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Peter Jaynes, aged 41, of Chatham, Kent, is charged with two counts of indecent assault and one of assault. George Lincoln, aged 38, from Sudbury, Suffolk, is charged with buggery. The three denied all charges.

The court was told that children as old as 14 were put in nappies, fed with babies bottles, given dummies to suck and cuddled as part of a ”regressive therapy” regime. Mr Joyce said: ”Regressive therapy was the disguise behind which the perverts could take their pleasure.”

The prosecution’s case opened last week, but contemporaneous reporting of the proceedings was prohibited by Judge Edwin Jowitt for legal reasons. Among those who have given evidence was a woman, aged 31, who told how as a teenager she faked pains and had her appendix removed to escape sexual abuse.

Mr Joyce alleged that Mr Beck was a remarkable man and that ”children came under his sheer power, his sheer personality and his sheer ego”.

He said the homes were supposed to offer a protected and safe environment. ”Some of the weakest, most helpless and most troubled in society were corrupted. They had their lives totally distorted and twisted by those whose responsibility it was to help them.”

It was alleged that when children fought against the therapy they were met with violence. Children were deliberately provoked into such uncontrolled anger that they had to be held so tight they were injured. The comforting that followed would usually end in the child being indecently assaulted or buggered.

Mr Joyce said the three ”and others, not in the dock, not on trial, ruled these children’s homes with a reign, basically, of terror”. The homes, where Mr Beck had been in charge at different times, were The Poplars, Market Harborough, Ratcliffe Road, Leicester and The Beeches, Leicester Forest East. Mr Jaynes had been deputy at the Poplars and Ratcliffe Road and Mr Lincoln had worked at The Beeches.

Children were in care at the homes because they were beyond parental control or because they had other problems. Some had been in trouble and others were there only because one or other of their parents was ill.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Beck buggered young social workers who were dependent on him for their jobs. Mr Joyce said: ”They were in a position where they could not defy him. What chance did the children have if the social workers themselves did not report him?”

Mr Joyce said a boy of eight, who had been buggered three or four times by Mr Beck, was told that sort of thing would happen to him when he was older and that it was normal.


Press Association

September 27, 1991, Friday

CHILDREN’S HOME MAN ‘COULDN’T REFUSE’ HEAD’S SEX DEMANDS

BYLINE: Mervyn Tunbridge, Press Association

SECTION: HOME NEWS

LENGTH: 347 words

A former social worker claimed today that his boss had regular sex with him at a children’s home over a period of three or four years. Mr D, now 38, told a jury at Leicester Crown Court he felt he could not refuse the attentions of Frank Beck. “He was the officer in charge and I was the lowest grade social worker in the home,” he said. “He had my career in his hands. “If I was going for another job I would have to get a reference from him. I felt I had no choice.” Beck, of Braunstone, Leicester, denies 12 charges of buggery, one of rape, two of attempted buggery, seven of indecent assault and seven of assault causing bodily harm. The charges relate to 13 boys, one girl and four members of staff. The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1974 and 1986 when he was head of two children’s homes in Leicester and at The Poplars home in Market Harborough. The former deputy head of two of the homes, Peter Jaynes, 41, from Chatham, Kent, has denied two charges of indecent assault and one of causing actual bodily harm. Social worker George Lincoln, 38, from Sudbury, Suffolk, has pleaded not guilty to a joint charge with Beck of buggering a boy. A ban on reporting the trial, which began at the start of last week, was overturned by the Court of Appeal on Thursday after representations by several newspapers and the Press Association. Mr D said he was just 21 when he got a job at The Poplars in 1974. He became upset by problems encountered in dealing with some children and Beck cuddled and comforted him. Several times, Beck took him to his room and mutual masturbation took place. On one occasion, Beck buggered him. “He had convinced me that I needed to develop my sexual area and this was one way of making me stronger,” said Mr D. The prosecution has claimed that youngsters as young as eight were sexually and physically assaulted at the three homes where they had been placed for their own safety during a reign of brutality and abuse that went undetected for 13 years. The trial was adjourned until Monday.


The Independent
(London)

September 27, 1991, Friday

Appeal court removes gag on child sex trial

BYLINE: By PATRICIA WYNN DAVIES and JACK O’SULLIVAN

SECTION: TITLE PAGE; Page 1

LENGTH: 616 words

THE RIGHT of the media to publish crown court allegations that young people had been repeatedly buggered, sexually assaulted and beaten in Leicestershire children’s homes was upheld yesterday in an important Court of Appeal ruling overturning a blanket ban on reports of the trial of three social workers.

In one of the most significant decisions under the 1981 Contempt of Court Act, Lord Justice Farquarson, Mr Justice Tucker and Mr Justice Owen allowed a challenge by The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, the Press Association and Times Newspapers to an order imposed by Mr Justice Jowitt, the trial judge, when the case opened in Leicester on 16 September.

Although the details of the appeal court’s ruling cannot be publicised now, the overturning of the judge’s order – the making of which was likewise covered by the publicity ban – is likely to come to be a viewed as a substantial victory for press freedom.

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, told the court on 17 September that victims of the alleged offences, which spanned 13 years, had endured a ”tunnel of darkness”. The case concerned ”childhoods that have been stolen, innocence corrupted, bodies abused and minds warped,” by Frank Beck, 49, the officer in charge of three homes, aided and helped by two co-accused, Mr Joyce said. Some of the children were as young as eight.

Mr Beck denies buggering nine boys and a girl, attempted buggery of two boys, assaults on seven children, indecently assaulting five children and raping the girl. He also denies buggering two fellow members of staff and indecently assaulting two others.

Mr Beck is a former Liberal councillor and was, the court was told, a senior figure in the shaping of child care policy in Leicestershire during the 1970s and 1980s. The prosecution has alleged he used ”regression therapy”, a form of child psychotherapy which takes children back to infant experiences, as a means of making them vulnerable and weak so they could then be sexually abused.

Peter Martyn Jaynes, 42, deputy officer in charge of two of the homes until 1980, denies charges of indecently assaulting a teenage boy and indecently assaulting the girl while kicking and hitting her. A third defendant, George Charles Lincoln, 39, deputy officer in charge of two homes from 1977 to 1981 denies a charge that he and Mr Beck buggered a boy of 14. The trial was adjourned yesterday pending the appeal court’s decision.

Of the seven prosecution witnesses who have appeared so far, two have given evidence screened from the defendants, who can observe the witness via a video link to the dock. This is a measure usually permitted only for child witnesses. However, the witnesses appearing in this case are in their twenties and thirties.

Section 4(2) of the 1981 Act allows a judge to postpone reports of proceedings where it is necessary to avoid a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice.

But yesterday’s decision can be viewed as an endorsement of the need to read the section in the light of the legitimate interest of the public to information on matters of public concern and of the principle of open justice.

The five news organisations invoked section 159 of the 1988 Criminal Justice Act, passed in response to a European Commission of Human Rights ruling, which gives the media the right to challenge gagging orders or decisions to exclude Press or public from any part of a trial. Before the Act there was no avenue of appeal.

The three judges ruled that the arguments canvassed in the hearing and the reasons for the decision should not be reported by the media or by law reporters until the conclusion of the trial.


The Independent
(London)

September 27, 1991, Friday

Social workers ‘raped and beat’ children in care; A court heard of systematic abuse of boys and girls at Leicestershire homes. Jack O’Sullivan reports

BYLINE: By JACK O’SULLIVAN

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 3

LENGTH: 956 words

CHILDREN as young as eight at three Leicestershire children’s homes were subjected to a reign of terror over 13 years, involving sexual abuse, a rape and beatings by social workers, Leicester Crown Court has been told.

The Independent is able to report the case after the Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a ruling by Mr Justice Jowitt, the trial judge, who banned reporting.

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, has told the court that the children were repeatedly buggered, sexually assaulted and beaten. Seven prosecution witnesses during seven days of evidence have testified to abuse by three senior staff at Leicestershire homes. In his opening speech on 17 September, Mr Joyce said that Frank Beck, 49, the officer in charge of the homes from 1973 to 1986 and a former Liberal Democrat councillor, had been the ”trusted supremo of children’s homes in Leicestershire”.

However, Mr Beck had perpetrated systematic sexual, physical and emotional abuse against vulnerable children and four fellow social workers by using a form of child psychotherapy to control them, Mr Joyce alleged.

Children would be provoked into fierce anger and then restrained by staff using violence, Mr Joyce alleged. After the anger had passed, subsequent comforting often led to sexual abuse.

He said that ”these children were effectively corrupted by the cruelty, which was the strength and the weapon of the tyrant”. He told the court: ”You will hear . . . that this is a man whom no one did anything to stop.”

Mr Beck faces charges relating to 17 males and one female. He denies charges of buggering nine boys and a girl, attempting to bugger two boys, assaulting seven children, indecently assaulting five children and raping the girl.

He also denies buggering two members of staff and indecently assaulting two others. The prosecution claimed that Mr Beck deliberately recruited impressionable staff at the homes: the Poplars, Market Harborough, which later moved to Ratcliffe Road, Leicester; Rosehill, Market Harborough, and the Beeches, Leicester Forest East.

Mr Joyce said: ”The zeal with which he pursued his victims was unwavering and there is no zeal like that of the pervert.”

Later, he said: ”For these young men, this was a tunnel of darkness. If they did run away, do something wrong or say something when they ran away, they were sent straight back into the darkness.

”It was no way of life for these children. There was no escape for these children. There was simply the endurance of it.”

On trial with Mr Beck is Peter Jaynes, 42, of Chatham, Kent, who was deputy officer in charge at Poplars and then Ratcliffe Road for eight years until 1980. He has denied charges of indecently assaulting a teenage boy and indecently assaulting the girl allegedly attacked by Mr Beck.

George Lincoln, 39, from Sudbury, Suffolk, deputy officer in charge at Rosehill and the Beeches between 1977 and 1981, denies that he and Mr Beck buggered a 14-year-old boy. Mr Joyce said the cases concerned ”childhoods that have been stolen, innocence corrupted, bodies abused and minds warped, in the main by Mr Beck, aided and helped by Mr Jaynes and Mr Lincoln”.

Most of the children had been aged between 8 and 16, Mr Joyce said. Some were there because they were beyond parental control. In some cases there was no other reason than that one or other of the parents was ill.

He said: ”He has not just buggered the children. He has done the same in certain circumstances to other social workers . . . They could not stop him. They could not defy him. One of the questions the prosecution asks is: what chance did the children have if the social workers themselves did not report him?”

Mr Beck would provoke the fears and insecurities of social workers so that they would seek his counselling in private. ”He took advantage of their naivety. He took advantage of their vulnerability,” Mr Joyce said.

One evening Mr Beck took Mr E, a young social worker, into his room for a ”supervision session”, Mr Joyce said. ”Mr E was told that touching another person’s body was an important thing to appreciate when dealing with children who had been abused by those they trusted. He was told that he had to be touched. He would not be able to understand it unless something happened to him.” Mr Beck then indecently assaulted Mr E, the court was told.

Mr Joyce said that Mr Beck was important in shaping Leicestershire’s child care policy. In 1977, he chaired a council working party dealing with children’s homes.

”He had the ear of those in power. He had the faith of those in power,” Mr Joyce said.

Mr Beck had pioneered the introduction of a form of treatment for disturbed children known as regression therapy. Mr Joyce said: ”Under this therapy, these children were taken back into a state of isolation, loneliness and vulnerability in which they would be ripe to be abused.

”Children were told to go back to when they were last happy, to express their emotions that made them unhappy. They were provoked to be angry, so angry that they would have to be physically held down and restrained.”

During ”regression”, boys of 14 would have to wear nappies, would be bathed by adults and used babies’ bottles. Mr Joyce said: ”Regression therapy was the disguise, the veil behind which the perverts took their pleasure.”

It was also a cover for violence against children, even though corporal punishment was officially banned at the homes, Mr Joyce said. ”We are talking about children being held so tight that they cannot move. We are talking about children being smothered, children with towels twisted around their necks. We are not talking about holding. We are talking about terror.”


The Independent
(London)

September 27, 1991, Friday

Eight-year-old ‘was assaulted at bath times’; A court heard of systematic abuse of boys and girls at Leicestershire homes. Jack O’Sullivan reports

BYLINE: By JACK O’SULLIVAN

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 3

LENGTH: 689 words

THE YOUNGEST boy in Ratcliffe Road children’s home was repeatedly raped by Frank Beck during bath-time sex sessions, the court was told last Friday.

It was alleged that the eight-year-old was buggered on about five occasions. Mr Beck denies the charge.

Mr C, now 20, gave evidence, like some other witnesses, from behind a screen. In a soft-spoken voice, he said that the abuse began in the week he arrived at the home, in 1979, when he was eight and a half. He had attempted suicide after his grandmother had died.

Mr C said that he was washed by members of staff. Mr Beck, he said, assaulted him during bathing sessions.

”He would say ‘You’re getting older’ as he washed my body and private parts. At the start he would have his clothes on. Then he’d take his trousers down and expose himself to me.” Mr C said sometimes Mr Beck would masturbate himself. Sometimes he (Mr C) would be made to do it for him, Mr C said. He also described how Mr Beck allegedly picked him up out of the bath and rubbed his own bare body against his and once ejaculated over the boy’s stomach and chest.

Mr C went on to describe how Mr Beck would allegedly lean him over the bath and enter his back passage.

”Sometimes he used to bend me over the bath. He used to hold me from underneath.”

He also claimed to have been told to stand up in the bath and bend over while Mr Beck buggered him from behind.

”Sometimes I was leaning against the wall with Beck having one arm around me and the other behind me – putting his penis in my bottom,” Mr F said. ”It hurt so much I cried and it hurt to sit down.”

Mr C denied a suggestion from John Black, for the defence, that Mr Beck had not been at the Ratcliffe Road home during Mr C’s time there.

Mr C admitted the police had come to him to inquire about any complaints he might have had from his time at the home.

He had been unable to recall Mr Beck’s name, and had identified the defendant from a set of photographs produced by the investigating officers.

On Monday, a 31-year old woman told the court that she had been repeatedly raped by Mr Beck at Ratcliffe Road and sexually assaulted by Peter Jaynes, the deputy officer in charge of the home. Both men deny the charges.

The incident began with Mr Jaynes on her second day at the home, she said.

”He started on about my sexuality. He said I was a lesbian, he repeated it several times. He said I needed a man,” the woman said, breaking down in tears.

”I was on my back. He was laying full-length, his body was on mine. He was rubbing it up against mine, his private parts,” she said.

”I just lay there. Eventually he went out of the room, and when he came back he gave me a lollipop and said I’d done well.”

The woman also said that a fourth member of staff, Colin Fiddiman, a former deputy officer in charge at Ratcliffe Road, who died recently, had used a punishment on her which was also used on young boys. ”They used to put a wet tea-towel around your neck and tighten it. Colin Fiddiman did it to me and he used a dry teacloth. The next morning all my neck was red and bruised.”

The woman said she was raped and buggered by Mr Beck after disturbing him and a young boy resident, who she named as Mr F, aged 13 or 14, in homosexual activity.

Mr Beck allegedly sent her to her room and followed on.

”He went on about my sexuality. He said I needed a man and he was going to show me what I’d been missing.

”He buggered me. I was screaming. He was hurting me and he didn’t care. I was on my knees bent over the settee. Frank Beck had his hand on my neck. He was holding my front and waist. I thought he was going to kill me,” she said.

”Then he turned me over and started fucking me, he was like an animal. I shouted at him to stop. He was hurting me, he made me bleed at both ends.”

She said that, subsequently, Mr Beck had had sex with her a further 30 times.

The woman said young boys at the home were summoned to see Mr Beck.

”When they came down they would be crying, walking funny. They’d be holding their bums,” she said.


The Independent
(London)

September 27, 1991, Friday

Teenager ‘prevented from visiting MP’; A court heard of systematic abuse of boys and girls at Leicestershire homes. Jack O’Sullivan reports

BYLINE: By JACK O’SULLIVAN

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 3

LENGTH: 291 words

A RESIDENT of Ratcliffe Road children’s home, who allegedly said that he had been a rent boy, was stopped from visiting Greville Janner, Labour MP for Leicester West, by Frank Beck, the court was told on Monday.

A 31-year-old woman allegedly raped and buggered as a teenager by Mr Beck at the home detailed an alleged row about 15 years ago between Mr Beck and the boy, Mr A, about going to see Mr Janner.

She was asked by Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, if she could remember hearing Mr Beck in conversation or argument with a boy.

She told the court: ”Frank Beck and Mr A were arguing about Greville Janner. He Beck wasn’t going to let him go and visit Greville Janner.” Mr H, formerly in care, is now aged 31.

On Tuesday, under cross- examination by John Black, representing Mr Beck, the woman said: ”He was shouting to Paul that he wasn’t going to see Greville Janner anymore.”

Mr Black asked her: ”A used to boast about being a rent boy, didn’t he?” She replied: ”When he first came to the home, yes he did.”

Mr Black continued: ”Mr Beck, I suggest you know perfectly well, utterly disapproved of any form of homosexual contact between men and children at his home, didn’t he?”

”I cannot agree with what you say,” the woman replied.

During her evidence, the woman said that she had been sent to the home at the age of 15 from the Towers Hospital, a local psychiatric unit.

She told the court she had faked pains in her side after being repeatedly raped by Frank Beck and sexually assaulted by other staff. She had deliberately undergone an unnecessary operation to remove her appendix in a desperate attempt to escape sexual abuse at the hands of staff at the home, she said.


The Guardian
(London)

September 27, 1991

Children’s homes ‘run by pervert’

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 672 words

CHILDREN as young as eight were systematically abused and beaten by social workers during a 13-year ‘reign of terror’ in three Leicestershire children’s homes run by a ‘tyrant’, a jury has heard.

Children had allegedly been buggered, indecently assaulted, beaten and, in one case, raped by Frank Beck – described at Leicester crown court as the ‘trusted supremo of childrens’ homes in Leicester’.

It was alleged that so-called regression therapy, in which children aged up to 14 were made to wear nappies, was used as a cover for the abuse, and that Mr Beck’s personality was so powerful that even other members of staff had been unable to resist him. Mr Beck, aged 49, was employed by Leicestershire social services as officer in charge of the homes between 1973 and 1986.

The allegations can now be made public after the Guardian, the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Press Association won an appeal yesterday lifting a reporting ban which has been in force since the trial opened last Monday.

Opening the prosecution case, Peter Joyce, QC, said some of the weakest and most troubled people in society had been corrupted. ‘They had their lives totally distorted and twisted by those whose responsibility it was to help them.’

He said the three defendants, who include two former colleagues of Mr Beck, Peter Jaynes and George Lincoln, had used a controversial form of child psychotherapy as a cover for their perversions.

It was indicative of the ‘sheer power, force of personality, and ego of Mr Beck’ that he was also accused of offences against adult members of staff, Mr Joyce said. ‘He hasn’t just buggered the children, he has also buggered other social workers. They couldn’t resist him, they couldn’t defy him. What chance did the children have?’

Mr Beck introduced so-called regression therapy during which children as old as 14 were made to wear nappies and given dummies and baby’s bottles, the court heard.

‘Under therapy these children would be taken back to the state of isolation, loneliness, and vulnerability in which they were ripe for being abused,’ Mr Joyce said in the hearing before Mr Justice Jowitt. ‘Regression therapy was the disguise, the veil behind which the perverts took their pleasure.’

Although Mr Beck had publicly condemned the use of brutality and corporal punishment in children’s homes, he allegedly approved the use of ‘outright cruelty’ to provoke children during therapy.

‘We’re talking about children held so tight they can’t breath, children half smothered, children with towels twisted round their necks,’ Mr Joyce said.

The abused children had lived in a tunnel of darkness, he said. ‘There was no escape. If they did run away, or say anything, what happened? They were sent back to the darkness.’

Mr Beck, who has been remanded in custody since April 14 last year, denies 29 charges including buggery, rape, attempted buggery, indecent assault and assault causing actual bodily harm relating to 17 males and one female, 14 of them children in his charge.

Mr Jaynes, aged 42, of Chatham, Kent, denies indecently assaulting two children and assaulting one. Mr Lincoln, aged 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies buggering a child with Mr Beck.

The allegations centre on three homes where Mr Beck was in charge between 1973 and 1986. Mr Jaynes and Mr Lincoln were deputy officers in charge at the homes: the Poplars in Market Harborough, Ratcliffe Road Children’s Home in Leicester, and the Beeches, near Leicester.

The court heard how Mr Beck had also instilled ‘fear, insecurity, and a sense of helplessness’ among his staff.

‘They were dependent on him for their jobs and he took advantage of their naivity, impressionability and vulnerability,’ Mr Joyce said.

As chairman of a council working party on care and control in community homes in 1977, Mr Beck had been influential in the running of Leicestershire children’s homes. ‘He was the trusted supremo,’ Mr Joyce said.

‘Childhood torment’, page 2


The Guardian
(London)

September 27, 1991

‘Abuse victims’ tell of their childhood torment: Witnesses give evidence from behind screen – ‘We were just sitting chatting when he picked me up and carried me to his bedroom. He took my clothes off’ – Former children’s home resident says she feigned appendicitis to escape sex attacks

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 938 words

SEVEN former residents of Leicestershire children’s homes have told a jury of sexual abuse and violence by social workers in charge of the homes.

Three males, now adults, claimed they had been buggered by Frank Beck, the officer in charge of three homes between 1973 and 1986, and a 31-year-old woman said she had been repeatedly raped and buggered by Mr Beck and sexually assaulted by other social workers.

Two men said they had been repeatedly sexually assaulted as children in Mr Beck’s care.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman told Leicester crown court that she had had her appendix removed as a teenager to escape sexual abuse by social workers.

Cross-examined by John Black, counsel for Mr Beck, she described how she had heard an argument between Mr Beck and a boy resident, who boasted that he was a rent boy, relating to Greville Janner, MP for Leicester West.

‘He was shouting to Paul (the boy) that he wasn’t going to see Greville Janner any more,’ she said.

Mr Beck, aged 49, denies 29 charges of buggery, attempted buggery, rape, indecent assault, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Two social workers who served as deputies to Mr Beck, Peter Jaynes and George Lincoln, deny a total of four charges of buggery, indecent assault and assault.

The catalogue of alleged abuse and violence unfolded during seven days of evidence given by former residents, some of whom were shielded from Mr Beck’s view by a screen.

Day one

Last Tuesday Mr G, from Blackpool, now aged 29, told the jury how Mr Beck held him face down and buggered him after he had been taken to his quarters.

‘I was telling him to get off me but he was holding me down after he’d got inside me,’ Mr G said.

He added that he felt scared and ashamed after the incident and told no one.

Mr G claimed he also received regular beatings from Mr Beck ‘for nothing’. He said up to a dozen members of staff were involved in administering summary beatings to children in the home.

Day two

Cross-examined by John Black, Mr G denied pressure had been put on him by the police to give evidence.

He admitted that he had applied for compensation from the criminal injuries compensation board but denied that he was motivated by the possibility of receiving financial compensation if Mr Beck was convicted.

Day three

Mr B, aged 26, described how Mr Beck had performed oral sex with him at the age of 10 or 11. Mr B said staff at the home would keep him away from school on days when his injuries would be noticed. He also denied a suggestion by Mr Black that he had been pursuaded to make a statement by the police.

Later Mr H, aged 32, from Dartford, Kent, alleged that he had been raped by Mr Beck at the age of 16. ‘We were just sitting chatting normal when he actually picked me up and carried me to his bedroom. He took my clothes off.

Day four

Mr C, 20, claimed he was buggered by Mr Beck on five occasions at the Ratcliffe Road home where, aged eight, he was the youngest child.

From behind a screen, he claimed this happened during bathtime homosexual sex sessions when Mr Beck would also masturbate himself or get Mr C to do it for him.

Cross-examined by Mr Black, he was asked why he had never made a complaint before.

He said he had always thought he would not be believed.

Day five

On Monday a 31-year-old woman, who claimed she had been repeatedly buggered and raped by Mr Beck and indecently assaulted by Mr Jaynes, described how Mr Beck had threatened to return her to a psychiatric unit if she did not do as he wished.

She said she was sent the Ratcliffe Road children’s home from the Towers Hospital, a local psychiatric unit, at the age of 15.

The woman also claimed she was raped and buggered by Mr Beck after disturbing him and a young boy resident in homosexual activity.

The woman said she was still a virgin when the alleged rape happened.

Mr Beck had sexual contact with her around 30 more times before she feigned illness, which led to her hospitalisation, to escape the home.

Day six

Cross-examined by Mr Black, the woman confirmed that she had overheard an argument between Mr Beck and a boy, named as Mr A, concerning Greville Janner.

‘He was shouting to Paul that he wasn’t going to see Greville Janner any more,’ she said. Mr Black asked her: ‘A used to boast about being a rent boy, didn’t he?’

‘When he first came to the home, yes he did,’ she replied.

Mr Black continued: ‘Mr Beck, I suggest you know perfectly well, utterly disapproved of any form of homosexual contact between men and children at his home, didn’t he?’

‘I cannot agree with what you say,’ replied the woman.

She denied a suggestion by Mr Black that she was lying by claiming she was a virgin when she was allegedly raped and buggered by Mr Beck.

Day seven

On Wednesday Mr I, now 30, told the jury how he complained to police more than 15 years ago about sex abuse in the Ratcliffe Road children’s home.

Mr I said he told his mother that he had been abused by Mr Beck and Mr Jaynes at the end of his two-year stay in the home and the police were informed.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, he described two incidents during which he was allegedly sexually abused by Mr Beck and one in which he was allegedly abused by Mr Jaynes.

Cross-examined by Mr Black, Mr I agreed that he had previously tried to escape from a children’s home but denied that he had fabricated allegations of abuse to escape the Ratcliffe Road home.


The Times

September 28, 1991, Saturday

Social worker tells of abuse

BYLINE: By Craig Seton

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 366 words

A FORMER social worker told Leicester crown court yesterday that he fell under the influence of the man in charge of a children’s home at the centre of sex abuse allegations and was eventually buggered by him every fortnight for three or four years.

Mr D, now aged 38, said that he came to fear Frank Beck and felt that he had no choice but to have sex with him. He said: ”From the outset, it was a very unreal world. I was under his influence for a number of years. I think I am still scared of him.”

Mr Beck, aged 48, is accused of 29 charges relating to alleged sexual and physical abuse of children and others at three county council children’s homes in Leicester and Market Harborough, Leicestershire, where he was officer in charge between 1975 and 1986. Peter Jaynes, aged 41, of Chatham, Kent, and George Lincoln, aged 38, of Sudbury, Suffolk, who worked at the homes, face four charges. They have pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Beck was a tyrant who stole the innocence of children in the care of Leicestershire social services. The court has been told the boys aged between eight and 16 were indecently assaulted or beaten, that a girl was repeatedly raped and that young social workers were forced to submit to sex.

Mr D told the court that children were provoked physically and verbally by social workers until they were out of control under a regime called regression therapy.

Mr D said that he was 21 and inexperienced when he went to the Poplars home at Market Harborough in 1974, when Mr Beck was in charge. He soon felt cut off from his family and friends while working at the home. After a confrontation with a child, he had wept, and Mr Beck had comforted him in his room.

Mr D said that Mr Beck told him to express his feelings because the children would be able to manipulate him in the area of sex. On that occasion, Mr Beck had kissed him and touched his genitals.

Sessions with Mr Beck had developed into mutual masturbation until eventually Mr Beck had assaulted him. Mr D said: ”I did not feel I had any choice. He was the officer in charge.”

The trial continues on Monday.


The Independent
(London)

September 28, 1991, Saturday

Man tells of sex with homes head

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 3

LENGTH: 346 words

A FORMER social worker told a court yesterday that his boss regularly had sex with him at a children’s home over a period of three or four years.

Mr D, 38, told a jury at Leicester Crown Court that he felt he could not refuse the attentions of Frank Beck.

”He was the officer in charge and I was the lowest grade social worker in the home,” he said. ”He had my career in his hands.

”If I was going for another job I would have to get a reference from him. I felt I had no choice.”

Mr Beck, of Braunstone, Leicester, denies 12 charges of buggery, one of rape, two of attempted buggery, seven of indecent assault and seven of assault causing bodily harm. The charges relate to 13 boys, one girl and four members of staff.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1974 and 1986 when he was head of two children’s homes in Leicester and at The Poplars home in Market Harborough.

The former deputy head of two of the homes, Peter Jaynes, 41, from Chatham, Kent, has denied two charges of indecent assault and one of causing actual bodily harm. A social worker, George Lincoln, 38, from Sudbury, Suffolk, has pleaded not guilty to a joint charge with Mr Beck of buggering a boy.

A ban on reporting the trial, which began at the start of last week, was overturned by the Court of Appeal last Thursday after representations by several newspapers and the Press Association.

Mr D said he was aged 21 when he got a job at The Poplars in 1974. He became upset by problems encountered in dealing with some children and Mr Beck cuddled and comforted him.

Several times, Mr Beck took him to his room and mutual masturbation took place. On one occasion, Mr Beck buggered him.

”He had convinced me that I needed to develop my sexual area and this was one way of making me stronger,” Mr D said.

The prosecution has claimed that youngsters as young as eight were sexually and physically assaulted at the three homes during a reign of brutality and abuse that went undetected for 13 years.

The trial continues on Monday.


The Guardian
(London)

September 28, 1991

Child worker ‘submitted to buggery’

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 560 words

A FORMER residential care worker in two Leicestershire children’s homes yesterday told a jury how he allowed himself to be regularly buggered by the officer in charge for more than three years, because he believed it would make him a ‘better social worker’ and that his ‘feelings would be strengthened’.

Mr D, aged 38, said Frank Beck, who ran the county council homes between 1973 and 1986, first persuaded him to engage in mutual masturbation sessions telling him that he ‘needed to develop in the sexual area’.

He also told the court how children were challenged and provoked until they ‘blew out’ as part of so-called regression therapy developed by Mr Beck. Staff repeated taunts like ‘You hate your mother’ and shook children until they lost their tempers. If they did not, they were isolated from other children.

Mr D was giving evidence at the trial of three former Leicestershire social workers. Mr Beck, aged 49, denies 29 allegations of physical and sexual abuse. His former deputies, George Lincoln, aged 39, of Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk, and Peter Jaynes, aged 41, of Beacon Hill, Chatham, Kent, deny a total of four charges.

Mr D told Leicester crown court that the incidents began shortly after he was employed as a residential careworker at the Poplars home in Market Harborough in 1974, aged 21. He said he soon felt lonely and on several occasions broke down crying and was ‘cuddled’ by Mr Beck.

On one occasion, Mr Beck told him to strip down to his underpants and masturbate. ‘He told me sex was an area I needed to work on,’ Mr D said.

Asked by Peter Joyce, QC, prosecuting why he had heeded Mr Beck’s request, he said: ‘It sounds silly now, but I thought perhaps I had to do it to become better.

‘The team of staff who were working together seemed very strong in what they were doing and I wanted to be part of that team. The assumption that was in my mind was that if Frank Beck was doing this kind of therapy with me, he was probably doing it with everyone else, so why should I feel odd about it happening?’

During the third or fourth such session, he said, Mr Beck buggered him.

‘Did you want him to?’ asked Mr Joyce. ‘No.’

‘Did you consent to that?’ asked Mr Joyce.

‘I didn’t feel I had any choice. I was the lowest grade social worker in the house. He had my career in his hands. He was also a very powerful personality,’ Mr D replied.

He was subsequently buggered by Mr Beck around once a fortnight for three to four years.

Mr Beck had once told staff: ‘Don’t forget I know something about each and every one of you.’ Mr D said: ‘I think I’m still scared of him.’.

On Wednesday, Mr J, aged 29, a former resident of the Ratcliffe Road Children’s Home, told the jury how children were given a lollipop after they had been abused.

‘There was a lot of lollipops given out. He used to buy them in boxes,’ he said.

Mr J, who was 14 when he was sent to the home, claims he was sexually and physically assaulted by Mr Beck and other staff.

He said there were four kinds of regression therapy sessions: ‘It was happy, sad, randy or angry. If they chose a randy session then you were touched. You were touched all over. They just messed about with your head – playing mind games.’

The trial continues.


The Observer

September 29 1991

Scandal of ‘back to babyhood’ therapy

BYLINE: SARAH LONSDALE

SECTION: Pg. 3

LENGTH: 950 words

REGRESSION therapy, practised by three Leicestershire children’s home care workers now undergoing trial on charges of physically and sexually abusing children over 13 years, is widely used in Britain.

The Observer learnt this week that a home practising one kind of regression therapy is funded by the Department of Social Security, despite a Shropshire Social Services inspectors’ report, which found that patients were sometimes tied up to staff members by rope, or made to stay in the corner of a room and ignored for up to 24 hours.

The inspectors found these practices ‘dangerous and potentially abusive’, and demanded an immediate halt to them.

Regression therapy is based on the theory that, in order to get to the root of personal problems, subjects have to be taken back to their childhood. The technique involves putting patients in nappies, bottle- feeding and standing them in corners, and alternately shouting at and hugging them so that they eventually feel like helpless children.

Social workers and therapists who use the system admit it is open to abuse and misinterpretation. Leicester Crown Court heard last week how children at local authority homes were subjected to regression therapy by Frank Beck, the officer in charge. Children as old as 13 were made to suck dummies and wear nappies, were bathed like babies and told to ‘regress’ to the time they were last happy. Mr Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, told the court the technique had left them isolated, lonely and vulnerable, ‘ripe for being abused’.

Mr D, a residential care worker, said in evidence that the children were challenged and provoked until they ‘blew out’. Staff repeated taunts like ‘You hate your mother’, and shook children until they lost their tempers. If they did not, they were put in isolation.

Frank Beck has pleaded not guilty to a total of 29 charges involving youngsters and staff at the homes between 1973 and 1986. Two other men involved also deny charges.

The Institute of Transactional Analysis, which actively promotes regression therapy amongst among psychotherapists, social workers and teachers, in this country has several hundred members and regularly organises workshops to disseminate ideas.

Regression therapy encompasses a range of controversial treatments, including so-called ‘re-parenting’, where patients are encouraged to reject their own parents and adopt the therapists as their new parents.

The institute also promotes a form of regression therapy widely discredited in the United States, where it originated, called Cathexis.

Cathexis was the brainchild of American social worker Jacqui Schiff, who developed the technique of ‘re-parenting’ for her work with schizophrenics. In her book All my Children, she describes making patients stand in a corner, restraining them with a heavy chair and spanking them. She also describes how she got a patient over his castration complex by holding a knife to his genitals.

Courts in Virginia ordered Ms Schiff never to work again, and a home she operated in California had its licence taken away. She is now living in Birmingham, where she runs a private re-parenting practice.

Nick Irving, head occupational therapist at West Norfolk and Wisbech Health Authority’s child and family unit in Kings Lynn, supports regression therapy and admits to bottle-feeding and hugging adult clients. He says regression therapy is widespread: ‘There is a potential for abuse .. the therapist has to understand what is driving him.’

A home for mentally ill adults that uses Cathexis techniques, is operating in Birmingham. The home, run by Trident Housing Association, operated in Shropshire until June. Shropshire Social Services inspectors demanded a stop to ‘dangerous and potentially abusive practices’ there, including:

Making patients stay in a corner of a room, where they were ignored for up to 24 hours.

Tying ropes to patients and carers, as a ‘symbolic umbilical cord’. Witholding mail from patients.

Encouraging patients to reject their parents in favour of their new ‘parents’, care workers.

Earlier this month, Birmingham City Council refused an application to have the home registered with the social services department. However, Nick Moreton, director of Trident, says the home will challenge this decision at an appeal tribunal.

The home is funded by the Department of Social Security to the tune of pounds 170 a week per patient. It has eight patients, but the application is for 12 places. If the appeal fails, the home risks losing its funding.

The Midlands Regional Director of the National Schizophrenia Fellowship, who visited the home, says its techniques should be monitored carefully: ‘Some methods of treatment are unproven and even rejected by practising professionals.’

Regression therapy has its casualties. Mark Stein, a council official from Bury, Manchester, says he has lost Madeleine, a former girlfriend, to regression therapy. She was admitted to the Trident Housing Association home three years ago and diagnosed by unqualified therapists as schizophrenic.

She is now ‘a completely different person ..I can’t recognise her’, said Mr Stein. ‘She has been reduced to a helpless child.

‘Before she went to the home she had a good job, her own home and a wide circle of friends. She is now totally dependent on carers at the home, whom she refers to as her mothers,’ he added. ‘Her own mother is extremely upset about it.’

She has has rented out her home and is absolutely dependent on the care workers.

Madeleine, 33, originally went into the home for just one year. After three years, she has no plans to leave.


Press Association

September 30, 1991, Monday

SEX ABUSE CASE JUDGE STEPS IN OVER ‘TOP NAMES’

SECTION: HOME NEWS

LENGTH: 438 words

A judge intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial today to prevent names of “people in high places” being revealed. A former social worker was about to name a man said to have had homosexual contact with a boy in care when High Court judge Mr Justice Edwin Jowitt stepped in. He told counsel representing former children’s homes head Frank Beck, who faces 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse: “Are names relevant? “Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves. “Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it.” Mr Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers defending Beck, replied he would continue the questioning “in another way”. Former social worker Mr D, 39, had said he was the care officer of a youth in care named as Mr A who had boasted of being a rent boy. Mr Sheridan asked: “Did he boast of having friends in high places?” Mr D replied: “Yes.” Mr Sheridan asked: “Did he tell you who those were?” At this stage the judge intervened. Mr Sheridan later asked Mr D: “Did you talk about one person in high places or more than one?” Mr D replied: “One. He just knew him and had contact with him.” He said that Beck knew about the relationship and he had raised it with him. Sheridan said: “Did he not make it clear he would raise it with the director of social services, Dorothy Edwards?” “Yes,” he replied. “I think most of the conversations which took place at that time were between Paul and Frank directly.” He said of Beck: “He was certainly going to make sure that action was going to be taken to sever the contact.” Mr D also said the person in question turned up at the children’s home, with a bicycle as a present for the boy. He said the incident happened sometime in mid-1977. Sheridan asked: “And he was sent packing by Frank Beck who told him bluntly no more contact?” Mr D said: “I wasn’t present when the person arrived but that was my understanding when Frank Beck reported back to team meetings.” Mr D earlier alleged he was sexually abused by Frank Beck. Beck, 49, formerly of Braunstone, Leicester, is in the dock alongside former social workers Peter Jaynes, 42, and George Lincoln, 39. Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, denies three offences of physical and sexual abuse and Lincoln, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies an allegation of buggery. The offences were allegedly committed between 1974 and 1986. The trial at Leicester Crown Court was adjourned until tomorrow.


The Times

October 1, 1991, Tuesday

Child case judge halts naming of ‘abuser’

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 213 words

A High Court judge intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial yesterday to prevent the names of ”people in high places” being disclosed.

A former social worker was about to mention he name of a man feared to have had homosexual contact with a boy who was in care when Mr Justice Jowitt interrupted, asking: ”Are names relevant? Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves.”

The judge told defence lawyers: ”Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it.”

Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers representing Frank Beck, a former head of a children’s home who faces 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse, replied that he would continue his questioning ”in another way”.

Mr Beck, aged 49, formerly of Braunstone, Leicester, is charged along with two social workers, Peter Jaynes, aged 42 and George Lincoln, aged 39. Mr Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, denies three charges of physical and sexual abuse and Mr Lincoln, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies a charge of buggery. The offences are alleged to have been committed between 1974 and 1986.

The trial at Leicester crown court continues today.


The Independent
(London)

October 1, 1991, Tuesday

Judge prevents naming of ‘people in high places’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 405 words

A JUDGE intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial yesterday to prevent the names of ”people in high places” being revealed.

At Leicester Crown Court, a former social worker was about to name a man said to have had sexual contact with a boy in care when Mr Justice Edwin Jowitt stepped in.

He told counsel representing Frank Beck, 49, a former children’s homes head, formerly of Braunstone, Leicestershire, who denies 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse: ”Are names relevant? Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves.

”Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it,” he said.

Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers defending Mr Beck, replied he would continue the questioning ”in another way”.

Mr D, 39, a former social worker, had said he was the care officer of a youth named as Mr A, who had boasted of being a rent boy.

Mr Sheridan asked: ”Did he boast of having friends in high places?”

Mr D replied: ”Yes.”

Mr Sheridan asked: ”Did he tell you who those were?” At this point, the judge intervened.

Mr Sheridan later asked Mr D: ”Did you talk about one person in high places or more than one?”

Mr D replied: ”One. He just knew him and had contact with him.” He said that Mr Beck knew about the relationship and he had raised it with him.

Mr Sheridan said: ”Did he not make it clear he would raise it with the director of social services?” ”Yes,” Mr D replied. ”I think most of the conversations which took place at that time were between Paul and Frank directly.”

Mr D said the person in question turned up at the children’s home in mid-1977 with a bicycle as a present for the boy.

Mr Sheridan asked: ”And he was sent packing by Frank Beck, who told him bluntly ‘no more contact’?”

Mr D said: ”I wasn’t present when the person arrived but that was my understanding when Frank Beck reported back to team meetings.”

Also charged are Peter Jaynes, 42, of Chatham, Kent, who denies three offences of physical and sexual abuse, and George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, who denies an allegation of buggery. Both are former social workers.

All the offences were allegedly committed between 1974 and 1986. The trial continues today.


The Guardian
(London)

October 1, 1991

Abuse case told of boy’s ‘friend’

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 383 words

A CHILD in care at one of the Leicestershire children’s homes where social workers allegedly operated a regime of systematic abuse and violence boasted he had been a rent boy and had ‘a friend in high places’, a jury heard yesterday.

Mr D, aged 38, a former residential care worker at the Ratcliffe Road children’s home in Leicester, said he reported the information to Frank Beck, the officer in charge, who took action ‘to sever the contact’.

Mr D told Leicester crown court the ‘friend’, who was not named, came to visit the boy, Mr A, and wrote to the home.

On Friday Mr D told the court he allowed himself to be regularly buggered by Mr Beck for more than three years because he thought it would ‘make him a better social worker’.

Mr Beck, aged 49, who was in charge of three of the county council’s children’s homes from 1973-86, denies 29 charges of buggery, rape, indecent assault, and assault, relating to 17 males and one female. His two former deputies, George Lincoln, aged 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, and Peter Jaynes, aged 41, of Chatham, Kent, deny a total of four charges.

Cross-examined by Francis Sheridan, defending Mr Beck, Mr D said he was a care worker assigned to Mr A and discussed the boy’s problems with him. Asked by Mr Sheridan what they were, he replied: ‘It was clearly that he had taken a homosexual path in life.’

Asked if he had boasted of being a rent boy, Mr D said: ‘I think so, yes.’ Asked by Mr Sheridan: ‘Did he say he had friends in high places?’, Mr D replied: ‘Yes.’

Mr Justice Jowitt, presiding, warned counsel against making allegations against ‘respected persons who are not here to say anything’.

In mid-1977, Mr D said, a letter from the friend was raised at a meeting of social workers. Mr Sheridan suggested Mr Beck had replied that the boy should have no further contact with him because he thought there was ‘a homosexual relationship’. ‘Yes,’ replied Mr D.

Earlier, Mr D admitted that in his first statement to police, dated 23 August 1990, he denied ever having been abused by Mr Beck. ‘Having gone for 12 or 13 years having not said a word to anyone it’s very hard to actually say something.’

The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

October 2, 1991, Wednesday

Man ‘plotted to kill sex abuser’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 404 words

A 29-YEAR-OLD man yesterday told a court how he plotted to kill a senior social worker in revenge for sexual abuse he said he suffered as a child.

Mr L said that in 1981 he took a youth training job as a chef at a Leicester children’s home run by Frank Beck with the intention of stabbing him.

Earlier, he had told Leicester Crown Court that he was buggered three or four times and beaten up by Mr Beck at the Ratcliffe Road children’s home in the mid-1970s.

He described being taken to Mr Beck’s bedroom and forced to undress and touch the social worker’s genitals before being sexually assaulted.

Mr L also claimed that Mr Beck and other staff forced himself and other children to have temper tantrums.

”They would hold you down so you couldn’t move. They would run their knuckles up and down your ribs. They would say things like ‘express your feelings’.”

Asked by Peter Joyce, QC for the prosecution, what would happen if he did not have a tantrum, Mr L replied: ”You didn’t have a choice.”

He claimed that despite repeatedly absconding from the home and telling his mother and the police about the alleged physical abuse he was always taken back. He finally left the home after telling juvenile magistrates that he would kill himself if sent back.

He told the court that he was 18 when he hatched the plot to kill Mr Beck after learning that he was running the Beeches children’s home. ”I wanted to take revenge for what he’d done. I wanted to kill him,” he said. But Mr L never carried out the plot and left the home after six days.

Under cross-examination by John Black, for the defence, he admitted robbing a post office at the age of 10 or 11. Mr Black claimed that by the time Mr L reached the Ratcliffe Road home he was ”a significant trouble-maker, sent there as a place of last resort”.

The court also heard from a mining engineer, who alleged that Mr Beck sexually abused him while he was a teenager in care.

Mr M, 24, said he punched Mr Beck after ”finally realising he was a pervert” .

Mr Beck, 49, of Braunstone, Leicestershire, denies 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse against children in his care and former staff members between 1974 and 1986. Two former deputies: George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, and Peter Jaynes,42, of Chatham, Kent, deny a total of four charges. The trial continues.


The Guardian
(London)

October 2, 1991

Sex ‘forced on boy at council home’

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 525 words

A TEENAGER who broke the law to escape being beaten by his parents, was regularly sexually abused by the officer in charge of the Leicester children’s home where he was sent, a jury was told yesterday.

Now aged 24, the man, Mr X, told Leicester crown court he had been forced to masturbate and have oral sex with Frank Beck during ‘counselling sessions’ at the Beeches children’s home.

Giving evidence at the trial of three former social workers alleged to have presided over a 13-year ‘reign of terror’ in three Leicestershire county council children’s homes, he said he was later buggered by Mr Beck, whom he had come to treat ‘like a father’.

He said violence by staff was an everyday thing at the home. Female residents, who were frequently called whore, slag, or bitch, were treated particularly badly. ‘He hated their guts,’ Mr X said.

Mr Beck, aged 49, who was officer in charge of the three homes between 1973 and 1986, denies 29 charges of sexual and physical abuse against 14 children aged eight to 16, and four former staff. His two former deputies, George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, and Peter Jaynes, 41, of Chatham, Kent, face a total of four charges.

Mr X, who told the court he had enjoyed a career in the forces and now worked for an oil company, said he was sent to the Beeches in 1980, aged 14, after committing two crimes to escape a household where he claimed he was beaten since the age of six.

‘I was more than happy to be there. I thought it was great. I could play football. I could go out of the house without being shouted at. I could have a bath without dire consequences. That was my idea of luxury.’

During his two-year stay at the home, he said he had several ‘counselling sessions’ in which he was made to sit on Mr Beck’s knee in a darkened room and ‘talk about emotions’. During some of these sessions Mr Beck allegedly forced him to masturbate and participate in oral sex.

If he failed to become aroused Mr Beck became aggressive and threatened to have him sent to borstal. ‘He made it plain he could have me transferred within an hour.’

He said he became ‘confused as hell: after these counselling sessions began they seemed a small price to pay to be kept away from my parents’.

Mr Beck had allegedly later visited him after he left the home and buggered him, causing him to bleed for two weeks, he told the court. ‘I felt that if I showed that it was hurting, it would hurt more – he seemed to be enjoying it, the pain.’

Asked by Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, why he had not seen a doctor, he replied: ‘I was 16 years old. I’d just been buggered – in effect just had homosexual sex. I wasn’t about to admit it to a doctor, a man of authority.’

Earlier Mr L’, formerly Mr L, 28, told the court he had taken a job as a chef at the Beeches so he could take his revenge on Mr Beck for abuse he had suffered. He said he planned to stab him with a set of chef’s knives, but changed his mind after some of them were stolen.

He said he had complained to social workers and police frequently about maltreatment.

The trial continues today.


The Guardian
(London)

October 3, 1991

‘Abuse victim’ denies giving away navy secrets

LENGTH: 360 words

A FORMER navy weapons expert yesterday denied handing over secret ships’ movements to the social worker who allegedly abused him as a teenager.

The man, 24-year-old Mr X, was confronted with the timetable of navy movements at the Leicestershire child abuse trial of former social worker Frank Beck.

John Black, defending Mr Beck, asked Mr X, who was a resident at the Beeches children’s home in Leicester, if he had given the document to the former head of the children’s home after joining the navy in the early 1980s.

The witness studied the handwritten list and angrily declared: ‘That is not my handwriting and I can prove it. I am absolutely sure I have never sent in advance any ships’ movements, except with the express permission of the captain, to any person – Frank Beck included.

‘That would be in breach of the Official Secrets Act and a treasonous act.’ But he told the jury he recognised a forces identification number written alongside the list.

‘I know the person whose number that is,’ he said but declined to name the sailor. The judge, Mr Justice Jowitt, ordered that the list be given into the care of the court.

Earlier Mr X, who now works for an oil company, had alleged he was buggered and indecently assaulted by Mr Beck while in care at the Beeches from 1980 to 1982.

During cross-examination he denied making up the allegations, saying they were ‘absolutely truthful’.

Mr Black asked him about what he said were discrepancies between the man’s evidence to Leicester crown court and his original statements to the police.

Mr X said there were errors in the statement on particular points but not lies. ‘I believe there is a difference,’ he said.

Mr Beck, who was officer in charge of three Leicestershire county council homes between 1973 and 1986, denies 29 allegations of physical and sexual abuse relating to 17 males and one female, 14 of them former children in his care. Yesterday he denied a further charge of buggery against Mr X.

Two former deputies, Peter Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, and George Lincoln, of Sudbury, Suffolk, deny a total of four charges.

The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

October 4, 1991, Friday

Home head ‘humiliated social worker’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 313 words

A SOCIAL worker yesterday told the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial how he was ”humiliated and degraded” by his boss during so-called supervision sessions.

Mr K, 40, told Leicester Crown Court how former children’s home head Frank Beck, 49, subjected him to repeated sexual assaults culminating in buggery.

Mr K, now a child care officer in Scotland, said he had ”felt degraded, debased, humiliated, de-humanised”. He told the jury trying Mr Beck and two other social workers how Mr Beck would organise ”supervision sessions” at the Beeches children’s home in Leicester.

Mr K, who began his social work career at the home aged 28, said these soon turned into homosexual sex sessions.

He said ”personal growth therapy” soon began to be dominated by questions of sexuality. ”It was hugging initially, fondling . . . It ended up with either one or both of us in a state of undress.”

Mr K said the sessions began to include masturbation. ”It developed, if that’s the correct phrase, into a period of oral sex.”

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, asked why Mr K became involved in the sex acts.

Mr K said: ”He used threats, physical assault and I felt he used his ability to manipulate the staff and residents to make life in work rather difficult for me.” He said he was threatened by Mr Beck with having his social work probationary period revoked.

The witness said he was slapped by Mr Beck in front of both other staff and children at the home.

He said once he tried to resist Mr Beck, but ”he physically took my clothes off, put my genitals in his mouth and bit very hard”.

Mr Beck denies 30 charges of physical and sexual assault against children in his care and other staff. Two former deputies, Peter Jaynes, 42, and George Lincoln, 39, deny a total of four charges.

The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

October 9, 1991, Wednesday

Abuse ‘led to homosexuality’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 254 words

A WITNESS told a child sex abuse trial yesterday that he was turned into a homosexual by a senior social worker. Mr F, who was giving evidence at Leicester Crown Court on his 29th birthday, told of repeated beatings and sexual abuse by the officer in charge, Frank Beck, 49.

He claimed that after leaving the Ratcliffe Road children’s home in Leicester he went to London, where he had a number of sexual encounters with other men, sometimes for money.

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, asked Mr F: ”Why did you go with blokes?” He replied: ”Because of the way I had been treated at Ratcliffe Road. If you had put a girl in front of me I wouldn’t have known what to do. It was the way I’d been brought up by Beck. I thought it was right and I knew no difference.”

Mr F, a serving prisoner, was giving evidence on the fifteenth day of the trial of Mr Beck, who denies 31 charges of physical and sexual abuse on former members of staff and children in care between 1974 and 1986. A new charge of buggery on a former boy in care was denied by Mr Beck yesterday. A co-defendant, Peter Jaynes, 42, of Chatham, Kent, denies three offences of physical and sexual abuse on children, and a second co-defendant, George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies an offence of buggery.

Mr F told the court that at 13 he was often taken to Mr Beck’s quarters at the home where he was made to perform various homosexual acts, which culminated in him being buggered by Mr Beck. The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

October 10, 1991, Thursday

Man tells of homosexual abuse by care staff

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 8

LENGTH: 252 words

A MAN aged 27 told a child sex abuse trial yesterday how he was sexually assaulted as a teenager by two social workers who were waiting for him with no trousers on.

Mr N said at Leicester Crown Court that when he was 14 or 15 he was in care at the Rose Hill children’s home in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, when he was summoned to the private quarters of the deputy officer, George Lincoln, and found him and the home’s former head, Frank Beck, dressed in only their shirts.
”I think he Beck had a tea towel or a hand towel laid across his private parts.” Mr Lincoln was naked from the waist down.

Mr N said that he was beckoned to sit on Mr Beck’s lap. After a short time he was propelled on to the bed where he was buggered, first by Mr Beck and then Mr Lincoln. At some point, some sort of lubrication was applied to his backside. Since the alleged buggery, he had felt ”more than hatred to people in uniform, to anybody to do with the Government”, he told the court.

Cross-examined by John Black, for Mr Beck, he admitted there were inaccuracies in one of his police statements because he had been smoking marijuana immediately before being interviewed.

Mr Beck, 49, denies 31 charges of physical and sexual abuse against children in his care and former staff members between 1974 and 1986; Mr Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies one charge of buggery; and a third former social worker, Peter Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, denies three charges.

The trial continues.

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8 Comments on “Full set of reports from the 1991 Frank Beck Trial #1”

  1. […] Full set of reports from the 1991 Frank Beck Trial #1 → […]

  2. […] Full set of reports from the 1991 Frank Beck Trial #1 (24/5/14) (these reports say much about the allegations against former Labour MP Greville Janner which were made in court) […]

  3. […] Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 […]

  4. John Nelson says:

    In searching for members of the Cropp family, I have come across this site. I am seeking childhood friends, Julie, Michelle, Sharon & Tanya Cropp who all lived in Stoke Golding, Leicestershire.
    Since knowing them I have found out that Julie Cropp ended up in The Beeches Children’s Home in Leicester, which is how I ended up on this site.

    I knew them about 40 years ago, when I and my parents lived in Hinckley. I have since moved to France, where I’ve been resident since 1997 and would be interested in catching up with my childhood friends from back then.

    Anyone who can help, feel free to click my site link which will take you to an article I have written about my search for this family on my personal family blog.

    Thank you in advance.

  5. […] full set of reports by Ian Pace on the Frank Beck trial can be found in five parts – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part […]

  6. barry waterfield says:

    I am very uncomfortable with the Frank Beck case. Admittedly I was not a resident in one of the children’s homes , but I knew him when I was a boy attending Mill Hill private boys school in Leicester. We had dinner in the pavilion on Victoria park and for a time I saw him frequently. Assuming it to be the same person. Other boys knew him , they knew his name. He was always very kind to me, and never forced himself upon me in any way what so ever despite having many opportunities. He was huggy touchy feely perhaps, but for Gods sake , surely that can be accommodated without high drama. The person described is hard for me to recognise, I even got a Christmas present from him, and in view of the developing hysteria in relation to all and any sexual activity in the UK and America, I wonder just how valid some of these complaints are. Only the other day I heard of a lady who cited Rape to get back at her former husband, later admitting she was ‘depressed’ at the time.

    It’s all past history now of course, and I am getting on in years thank God , but in view of the furore over Cliff Richard and the disgraceful kangaroo court initiated by the BBC and other gutter press, I find myself thinking back and wondering, was Frank really as bad as they say? I get increasingly cynical I’m afraid.I now I read that the director of prosecutions has declared that a man must prove permission for sex was given in a rape case. How can any man short of Jesus Christ, be expected to find such evidence, have they to ask every girl they go with to sign forms in duplicate , witnessed of course by the bank manager and the vicar.Only a country like England could come up with that. Roll on the day I leave this mad world behind.

  7. barry waterfield says:

    I am very uncomfortable with the Frank Beck case. Admittedly I was not a resident in one of the children’s homes , but I knew him when I was a boy attending Mill Hill private boys school in Leicester. We had dinner in the pavilion on Victoria park and for a time I saw him frequently. Assuming it to be the same person. Other boys knew him , they knew his name. He was always very kind to me, and never forced himself upon me in any way what so ever despite having many opportunities. He was huggy touchy feely perhaps, but for Gods sake , surely that can be accommodated without high drama. The person described is hard for me to recognise, I even got a Christmas present from him, and in view of the developing hysteria in relation to all and any sexual activity in the UK and America, I wonder just how valid some of these complaints are. Only the other day I heard of a lady who cited Rape to get back at her former husband, later admitting she was ‘depressed’ at the time.

    It’s all past history now of course, and I am getting on in years thank God , but in view of the furore over Cliff Richard and the disgraceful kangaroo court initiated by the BBC and other gutter press, I find myself thinking back and wondering, was Frank really as bad as they say? I get increasingly cynical I’m afraid.I now I read that the director of prosecutions has declared that a man must prove permission for sex was given in a rape case. How can any man short of Jesus Christ, be expected to find such evidence, have they to ask every girl they go with to sign forms in duplicate , witnessed of course by the bank manager and the local vicar. Only a country like England could dream that up . Roll on the day I leave this mad mad world behind me.


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