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  1. ITV Report

Major national inquiry into child sex abuse comes to Nottingham

A major national inquiry into child sex abuse is to start looking at allegations of widespread, historical abuse across Nottinghamshire.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will spend three weeks examining the extent of abuse in Nottinghamshire's care system dating back to the 1950s.

It's the first time the Inquiry has left London, and was set up after allegations of physical and sexual abuse at children's homes previously operated by Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council came to light.

Here's everything you need to know.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will spend three weeks examining the extent of abuse in the county. Credit: ITV News Central

Where will the Inquiry take place and how long does it last?

For the first week, which starts today (Mon), the Inquiry will be held at Trent Bridge Cricket Club. It's the first time the Inquiry has moved outside London.

For the second week, it will be held at the Inquiry's hearing centre in the capital. It will also be held there for the third week, but that isn't until October 22.

Why is the Inquiry coming to Nottingham?

Back in 2010, claims of widespread historical sexual abuse at children's homes across the county started to emerge. This spiralled, with allegations of abuse at institutions dating back to the 1950s.

In 2015, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was set up to investigate failings to protect children in the care or supervision of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Councils.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will spend three weeks examining the extent of abuse in the county. Credit: IICSA

What will the Inquiry look at?

The Inquiry’s public hearing into the sexual abuse of children in the care of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils will look at:

  • The nature and extent of the sexual abuse of children in the care of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils, including those cared for in children’s homes and by foster carers and/or adoptive parents
  • The institutional responses to the sexual abuse of children in the care of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils, including those cared for in children’s homes and by foster carers and/or adoptive parents
  • The failures of the councils to protect children from sexual abuse
  • The response of the councils, law enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities and other public authorities to reports of child sexual abuse involving children cared for by the councils, and/or reports of child sexual abuse by individuals who were employed or contracted by the councils
  • The extent to which the councils sought to investigate, learn lessons, implement changes, and/or provide support to victims and survivors

Have the police ever investigated the abuse claims?

In 2011, Nottinghamshire Police launched Operation Daybreak to investigate alleged physical and sexual abuse at Beechwood and other homes. In 2014, Operation Xeres began which looked at abuse at 10 other homes.

Those operations were then combined into Operation Equinox, which is investigating allegations of abuse at children's homes and other institutions in Nottinghamshire from the 1950s to 2000. This is ongoing.

Beechwood Home in Mapperley, now demolished. Andris Logins worked there in the 1980s. Credit: ITV News Central

What's the scale of Operation Equinox?

As of September 11th 2018...

903
allegations of historical abuse have been made
379
people have come forward with allegations
617
suspects have been named
275
suspects have been identified
14
people have been charged by police
9
people have been charged for abuse in children's homes
4
people have been convicted so far of abuse in children's homes
More than 20 children's homes in Nottinghamshire are being investigated as part of Operation Equinox. Credit: ITV News Central

Which care homes are under investigation?

A lot of the Inquiry will look at abuse in children's homes across the county.

More than 20 homes are being investigated by Nottinghamshire Police. They are:

  • Amberdale (Moorbridge Lane, Stapleford)
  • Ashley House (Sunnyside, Worksop)
  • Beechwood, also known as Enderleigh (Woodborough Road, Nottingham)
  • Berry Hill Open Air School (Black Scotch Lane, Mansfield)
  • Bracken House (Thomas Street, Bulwell)
  • Caudwell House (Upton Road, Southwell)
  • Cobblestones (Bangor Walk, St Ann's, Nottingham)
  • Greencroft, also known as The Leys (Greencroft, Clifton)
  • Hazelwood (Forest Grove, off Mount Hooton, Forest Fields, Nottingham)
  • Laybrook, also known as Brooklands (Somersall Street, Mansfield)
  • Ranskill Gardens (Ranskill Gardens, Top Valley, Nottingham)
  • Red Tiles (Beckhampton Road, Bestwood Park, Nottingham)
  • Repton Lodge (Sparken Hill, Worksop)
  • The Ridge (The Park, Mansfield)
  • Risley Hall (Derby Road, Risley)
  • Skegby Hall (Mansfield Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield)
  • South Collingham Hall (Newark Road, South Collingham)
  • Sycamore House (Mansfield Road, Sherwood)
  • Three Roofs (Milverton Road, Bestwood Park, Nottingham)
  • Whatton Young Offender Institute (New Lane, Whatton)
  • Wollaton House (Radford Bridge Road, Wollaton, Nottingham)
  • Wood Nook, also known as Beechdale Road (Beechdale Road, Bilborough, Nottingham)

Has anyone been brought to justice?

So far, four people have been convicted of abuse in children's homes. They are Andris Logins, Barrie Pick, Dean Gathercole and Myriam Bamkin.

Logins worked as a residential social worker at Beechwood Children's Care home in the 1980s. In March 2016 he was jailed for 20 years at Nottingham Crown Court for 15 offences of rape, indecent assault and child cruelty against children in his care - two girls and one boy.

Dean Gathercole was a former residential social worker who raped one girl at a flat and another at his mother's home. Gathercole was a key worker for the teenagers during the 1980s at the former Amberdale Observation and Assessment Centre at Stapleford in Nottinghamshire.

He was found guilty of three counts of rape and six counts of indecent assault at a trial at Nottingham Crown Court. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Andris Logins (left) and Dean Gathercole (right) have both been convicted of abuse in children's homes. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police / ITV News Central

Barrie Pick was jailed in December 2017 after being found guilty of abusing a 13-year-old boy while working as a home worker.

Pick was jailed for six years after being convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of two counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child. He was cleared of a third count of indecency with a child.

Police said the offences dated back to 1977 and took place at the Beechwood children's home in the city.

Myriam Bamkin (left) was jailed for 30 months. Barrie Pick (right) was sentenced to six years. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Myriam Bamkin was a former social worker who had sex with a 15-year-old boy when she worked at Amberdale Observation and Assessment Centre in the 1980s. Bamkin was jailed for 30 months at Nottingham Crown Court in June 2018 for indecently assaulting the teenager in a gym at the Amberdale home in Stapleford in 1985.

She had continued to work for Nottinghamshire County Council ever since the assault in the mid-1980s, despite the head of the unit being told about concerns at the time. Bamkin, of Ripley Road, Belper, was only suspended in 2016 after the victim went to the police. By then she had risen to the position of team manager in fostering.

Bamkin, 61, from Belper, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to indecent assault.

Two other people have been acquitted.

What does the Inquiry hope to achieve?

A report into the panel's findings will be published next year.