Former social worker sentenced to 19 years for historic sex offences

Credit: ITV News Central

A social worker from Nottinghamshire has been found guilty of historic sex offences and sentenced to 19 years.

Dean Gathercole has been convicted of three counts of rape and six counts of indecent assault dating back to the 1980s.

He has been cleared on two accounts of indecent assault.

Dean Gathercole worked at Amberdale Observation & Assessment Centre as a Residential Social Worker in 1982.

The Centre, at Stapleford near Nottingham, was run by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Credit: ITV News Central

It was a place for children who had problems in their lives such as truancy, low-level crime or family issues.

Last week Gathercole went on trial at Nottingham Crown Court charged with 3 counts of rape and 8 counts of indecent assault against two teenage girls (aged 15 & 16) in 1987.

Most of the offences are alleged to have taken place at Amberdale, but others incidents are alleged to have happened in Gathercole's car and one rape is said to have taken place at his mother's house.

During his time as a social worker there were several allegations made against Gathercole by young girls resident at Amberdale.

Credit: Artist's courtroom sketch

Gathercole denied the charges, claiming he'd never harm children in his care.

Under cross-examination he told the jury he thought the two women making allegations against him were motivated by money.

He said that if he was found guilty it would help them receive tens of thousands of pounds in compensation if they made a civil claim against the local authority.