Oxford

Rodney Smallman found guilty of child sex offences

A "predatory paedophile" who was the head of a children's home in Oxfordshire has been found guilty of a series of child sex offences.

Rodney Smallman, 72, of Erica Close, Banbury, abused five boys under the age of 16 at the home, which is now closed.

He was convicted of 15 counts of indecent assault on children during the 1970s and 1980s by a jury at Oxford Crown Court.

Smallman is due to be sentenced on 12 January.

A victim told police about the abuse in 2012, and more victims were identified following an investigation by the Thames Valley Police child abuse investigation unit.

Smallman was arrested in February 2013, and charged the following August. He denied the allegations.

'Abused his position'

The court heard how Smallman's regular abuse of the young boys only stopped when they left the home.

He lived in a separate building on the site at the time of his offences.

Det Con Joanne Waddington, the investigating officer, described him as a "predatory paedophile who abused his position in the worst way imaginable".

She said: "Smallman took advantage of his role as the head of a children's home and abused the most vulnerable children for his own sexual gratification.

"These were children that were placed at the home for their own protection and when he took advantage of that, they felt they had no one to tell who would believe them.

"This is something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

"I want to thank the victims for their bravery in coming forward to report these offences. It is because of their courage that Smallman has been convicted."

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