Nottingham

Dean Gathercole jailed over 1980s children's care home rapes

Dean Gathercole Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Dean Gathercole, now 53, raped one girl at a flat and another at his mother's home

A former social worker who raped one girl at a flat and another at his mother's home has been jailed.

Dean Gathercole, now 53, cared for the teenagers during the 1980s at the former Amberdale Observation and Assessment Centre in Nottinghamshire.

He was found guilty of three counts of rape and six counts of indecent assault at a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Gathercole, of Westcliffe Avenue, in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

The jury heard Gathercole sexually assaulted her and raped her in a flat in Amberdale.

He raped the other teenager at his mother's home in Radcliffe-on-Trent.

Gathercole continued to harass her and indecently assaulted her at the young people's care home in Stapleford. She then ran away from the home.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Amberdale Observation and Assessment Centre has since become Clayfields House Secure Unit

In 2015, one of the victims came come forward and an investigation was launched by an operation looking into historical sexual abuse in care homes.

Rob McKinnell, senior investigating officer at Operation Equinox, said: "It has taken immense courage for these women to go through what they have done in order to see Gathercole brought to justice.

"I thank them for showing that it can be done.

"This young girl thought she wouldn't be believed is something we have heard when it comes to non-recent cases."

Mr McKinnell hopes this conviction would help other survivors of historical child sexual abuse to come forward.

The NSPCC said: "Gathercole used his position of trust to groom and abuse extremely vulnerable children who needed guidance and support.

"Not only did he inflict unimaginable pain and suffering on his victims, his denials all these years later forced them to them relive the abuse."

The children's home has since become Clayfields House Secure Unit.

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