Pair sentenced for historic sexual abuse at North East school

24/04/2014

Two ex-staff from a closed North East residential school have today been sentenced to serve a total of 21 years for historic sexual abuse committed against young boys under their care.

The charges were brought in relation to incidents of sexual abuse committed by the men throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

John Leslie Duncan, 61, from Gateshead, was found guilty after trial of ten counts of indecent assault on a male, three counts of indecency with a child, one count of buggery and one count of attempted buggery in relation to seven different victims. He was sentenced to 15 years, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and made subject to a lifelong Sexual Offences Prevention Order. The charges against Duncan all relate to offences carried out during his employment at Shotley Park Children's Home in Durham and at the Feversham residential school in Walbottle, both of which have since closed.

Kevin Brown, 58, who was already serving a prison sentence, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to five counts of indecent assault against five separate victims. He was subsequently found guilty of a further count of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child against two further victims. He was sentenced to 6 years on top of his current 8 year sentence, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and made subject to a lifelong Sexual Offences Prevention Order. The charges against Brown all related to offences carried out while he was employed at the Feversham residential school.

Lynsey Colling, Acting Head of the Crown Court Unit for CPS North East, said: "While it is true that prosecutors and police have played their respective roles in building a robust case against these two men, the part played by the victims in securing both sentences cannot be overstated.

"At the time of these offences, the victims were all vulnerable young children, each of whom Duncan and Brown had a professional obligation to protect. Instead, they abused the trust placed in them to exploit those children for their own sexual gratification.

"Despite the impact that those events had on each their victims, they have shown significant courage in assisting this prosecution and I would hope that the resulting sentences provide a good measure of closure for them."