April 2015: Now living in Normanton

June 2006

Foster carers jailed over abuse


A GAY foster couple were jailed yesterday for sexually abusing boys in their care.

Despite inflicting lifelong damage on at least one of their victims cynical predators Craig Faunch, 32, and his lover Ian Wathey, 41, showed no regret.

Judge Sally Cahill, QC, said: “Neither of you has shown any empathy or remorse, or accept any responsibility for your actions.

“You are presented as a couple. But this isn’t about homosexuality. It’s about an abuse of trust.”

The judge slammed social services for failing to take action after indecent photos were found, saying the error was “incredible”. An inquiry has been ordered.

Faunch was jailed for six years and Wathey for five.

The couple were approved as foster carers by Wakefield Council in July 2003.

But within months they were using the boys, who came from troubled homes, for their own sexual gratification.

Social services were alerted by a mother who came across alarming images of her eight-year-old twins in the toilet while in the men’s care in November 2003.

Amazingly, officials accepted the couple’s explanation that they used the pictures to embarrass the boys into closing the toilet door.

Merely rapping the men for being “naive and silly” they took no action. Piling blunder on blunder, they then lost the pictures.

As a result the abuse, which could have been halted, continued until January, 2005.

Wathey encouraged a child with Aspergers Syndrome to watch sexual activity on a gay porn video.

Faunch abused another youngster with a “very troubled background” who had been in the couple’s care for only a few weeks.

Judge Cahill told him: “His need for care by you was obvious.

“That you chose to abuse that boy shows the very depths you were prepared to go to. You saw him as an ideal victim.”

Police finally investigated after one boy told a woman he had been touched three times, and had repeatedly showered after an incident. Then a boy of 14 with special needs said he had also been a victim of the callous pair.

Judge Cahill told Leeds crown court it was “incredible” the toilet photos were not reported to police in time.

She told Faunch: “Once you realised social services were going to take no action, and believed your ridiculous story, you went on to abuse others in your care thinking yourself safe.

“It’s quite impossible to know what the long term effects will be. There’s no doubt that for one of those boys it will be lifelong.”

Defence barristers had claimed the allegations were unfounded.

Faunch was convicted of two charges of making indecent photos of a child after using a camcorder to film naked eight-year-old boys in a shower. He was also convicted of five counts of sexual activity with a boy of 14.

Wathey was found guilty of four charges of sexual activity with another boy of 14 and of encouraging a child to watch sexual activity.

He was cleared of two charges of sexual activity with a child.

Both men, of Pontefract, West Yorks, were placed on the sex offenders’ register and banned for life from working with children.

Saying they had abused their position of trust “most horribly”, Judge Cahill branded them a continued risk to children and ordered them to serve an extended three years on licence.

The men had denied the claims at an earlier trial.


Craig Faunch


Ian Wathey