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Former children’s home carer from Cromer jailed for nine years for child sex abuse

PUBLISHED: 09:28 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 13 October 2017

Paul Setchfield of Cromer was jailed on Thursday for assaulting a girl and a boy at a children's home. Photo: Met Police

Paul Setchfield of Cromer was jailed on Thursday for assaulting a girl and a boy at a children's home. Photo: Met Police

Met Police

A carer at a former children’s home drove a young girl to motels and a friend’s flat where she was sexually abused.

Paul Setchfield, from Cromer, was jailed for nine years at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting a girl and boy, both aged under 14.

The charges date from October 1978 to November 1981 when Setchfield, 64, worked as a ‘house parent’ at St Leonard’s Children’s Home in Hornchurch, Essex.

The court heard one woman, who is now in her 40s, contacted police in 2011 after being given access to her social services file.

She was interviewed by officers from the Met’s Child Protection Team. In two police interviews, she said she was sexually abused by Setchfield at the children’s home when she was aged under 14.

She said that on two occasions, Setchfield took her into his bed in the ‘sleep over’ room for staff.

The victim said Setchfield also drove her to motels in Kent and Chester and took her to his friend’s flat where sexual abuse took place.

The male victim, who is now in his 40s, came forward to police in 2013 and said he had witnessed the abuse of the girl. He said Setchfield had also got into bed with him and sexually abused him.

Setchfield was interviewed by police in June 2012 and August 2013. He denied the allegations against him.

Officers in the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command interviewed other witnesses who backed up what the victims had said and Setchfield was charged with 11 counts of indecent assault in May 2016.

He was convicted of 11 charges of indecent assault, eight against the girl and three against the boy, after a one-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Detective Constable Daniel Stevens said: “Setchfield continued to deny he was responsible for the abuse, even after being confronted with the compelling testimony from the two victims, along with corroborating witness statements. Although it has taken more than 30 years for the victims to gain justice, Setchfield has now been brought to account for his actions.”

Detective Inspector Debbie McCormack added: “I would urge anyone who has suffered abuse to come forward and contact your local police service.”

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “It’s deeply disturbing that a predator like Setchfield was able to abuse vulnerable children in a place where they should have been cared for and protected.

“He betrayed his position of trust and probably thought he’d long got away with his sickening crimes but his victims’ incredible courage has helped to ensure he is now behind bars - where he belongs.”

•To report any offences, call 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.

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