August 1998 – Paedophile care worker jailed

A care worker who abused boys at a children’s home and forced others to listen to their screams has been jailed for 13 years

Patrick Duggan, 49, was convicted of a catalogue of sex attacks on seven boys aged as young as eight during his time at a children’s home in west London and a residential school in Herefordshire.

Judge David McEvoy told Duggan he had committed “a gross breach of trust”.

He said: “You were in the position of parent to these boys and you abused the position to satisfy your sexual desires.

“These boys were starved of affection at home. They needed affection and you gave it to them with a view to further your own desire to abuse them.”

Worcester Crown Court was told he bought his victims presents before molesting them in his staff bedroom and a toilet block.

He forced boys to lie on the floor of his room and listen to the screams of a third boy whom he abused, the court was told.

During the two-week trial one victim who gave evidence tried to attack Duggan, after telling the jury he could not bathe his own children because of the abuse he had suffered.

The court also heard evidence from another victim who had become a rent boy after suffering abuse by Duggan.

‘Silenced with threats’

Joan Butler, QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Duggan had preyed on vulnerable boys and then silenced them with threats to move them to other homes away from their families.

“The defendant was meant to protect them but took advantage of their immaturity, vulnerability and confusion,” she said.

The police inquiry into Duggan began when a victim of the North Wales sex abuse investigation said he had been abused by him.

West Mercia Police appealed for information to trace the defendant on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme and other victims came forward.

Duggan, of Battersea, south London, denied 23 specimen charges of indecent assault, buggery, and attempted buggery.

The jury, which deliberated for more than 10 hours, convicted him on 10 counts of indecent assault, six of buggery and one of attempted buggery.

Six other charges of a similar nature were left to lie on file after the jury failed to reach a decision.

Duggan also pleaded guilty to a further four counts of indecent assault and three of buggery.