Saturday 16 March 2013

Cotsbrook Hall

Cotsbrook Hall, Shifnal, Telford was one of two, properties bought by John Allen for the Community, outside North Wales. It was purchased with the intention that it should be a similar school to Bryn Alyn Hall, catering for 20 (later 40) children, again in the age range 11 to 16 years.

John Allen is yet again accussed of instances of both sexual and physical abuse within this home.

Prolific paedophile Gary Cooke pleaded guilty on 30 June 1980 in the Crown Court at Mold to two offences of buggery, one of indecent assault and one of taking an indecent photograph. He was sentenced to a total of five years of imprisonment, from which he was released on parole on 23 November 1981. 
Cooke had been employed for two weeks only in a Clwyd children's home, Bersham Hall, probably in or about 1972. Later, he had been employed as a care worker for over a year by the Bryn Alyn Community in their children's homes, firstly at Marton's Camp, Winsford, Cheshire and then at Cotsbrook Hall, Higford; and he had then been Assistant Warden of a probation hostel in Ruabon, near Wrexham, for six months. 
None of the victims named in the 1980 convictions had been in care at the time when the offences against them were committed but they were all young persons, some of whom had been or were about to be children in care, and Cooke was known to have ready access to children in residential care in the Wrexham area.

David Alan Challinor joined the Community on 24 June 1980 at the age of 19 years after taking a pre-qualification course in residential care (PCSC) for two years at Aston College, Wrexham, on leaving school. He was employed initially as a residential care worker at Cotsbrook Hall, where he received an official caution after only three months for throwing an object (a clipboard) in the direction of some boys, causing superficial injury to one of them. 
Challinor moved to Bryn Alyn Hall in the same capacity in 1980, becoming Deputy Team Leader there on 1 January 1985 and a Team Leader on 7 April 1987. 
He remained at Bryn Alyn Hall until September 1991 when he began the two year CQSW course at Cartrefle College and then Plas Coch. 
On completing that course successfully he was appointed Deputy Officer-in-Charge of Gatewen Hall from 13 July 1993 but he moved to Pentre Saeson Hall in May 1994 as Acting Unit Manager and became Manager 12 months later until it closed in March 1997 (like Evans his P45 showed his employment to have ended on 30 June 1996 for unexplained reasons).

John Leslie Jeffreys worked for the Community for nine or ten years between about 1974 and 1983, starting when he was nearly 40 years old. He had begun working with children five or six years earlier in Derbyshire after five years as a supervisor for Rolls Royce in Derby. 
He became a community youth worker, after some training from the local education authority and then a residential care worker at a children's home, where he received some training organised by Derbyshire Social Services Department. 
In 1974 Jeffreys responded to an advertisement placed by the Community in New Society and was appointed (after being interviewed by Allen and Wainwright) to work in the Talbot Road property, where two houses had been converted into one, and which was being used as a halfway house. 
From there he moved to Cotsbrook Hall, where there were about 50 boys in the age range of seven to18 years. At Cotsbrook Hall Jeffreys was appointed a Team Leader and his wife became Deputy Matron.
There were allegations of violence made by children, from Cotsbrook, against Jeffreys but no charges were laid from this time.

David Stanley, a former Scout Master, was an employee of Shropshire Social Services Department from 1979 to 1982. Some of the original charges against him related to that period. It was alleged that he had assaulted boys in the care of the Authority or under supervision by him in his role as an Intermediate Treatment Officer. 
In the event, he was not found guilty on those particular charges.

When he was eventually caught, following an elaborate sting involving a fake road traffic accident to enable quick access to Stanleys PC so no evidence could be destroyed, Judge Michael Mott described David Stanley as a "predatory and aggressive paedophile" who had preyed on "vulnerable" young boys during his time with the scouts and as a youth worker at a residential children's home. 
A jury at Worcester Crown Court convicted Stanley, 49, of Telford, Shropshire, of six counts of buggery, two of attempted buggery, eight counts of indecent assault, and one charge of possessing pornographic photographs with a view to distributing them on the Internet.

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