March 2004

Care worker guilty of child rapes

A former social worker has been jailed for 15 years after being convicted of a series of rapes and sexual assaults involving young girls at a care home.

Ian Taylor, 38, who was a residential social worker, was convicted on Friday at Northampton Crown Court.

A jury found him guilty of 10 charges including rape, indecent assault and indecency with a child.

The incidents took place between 1983 and 1990, partly when Taylor worked at a Northamptonshire children’s home.

In total, he was convicted of seven charges of rape, two of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

Violence threat

The charges included the rapes of two teenage girls who were staying at the St John’s Centre in Tiffield, near Towcester – a home run by Northamptonshire County Council.

Taylor, formerly of Walgrave, Northamptonshire, also indecently assaulted another of the residents at the children’s home.

His victims also included a 10-year-old girl, not a resident at the home, who he raped and indecently assaulted during a period of abuse which began in 1983.

The court heard he pressurised the girls into having sex with him and threatened them with violence.

Consent claim

He took them out in his car claiming to be running errands, but would actually drive to secluded areas where he would rape them.

Taylor, who denied the charges, left his job at the centre in 1990 after it was discovered he had been having a sexual relationship with a former resident.

The girl, who was not connected to the trial and had recently moved out of the home, became pregnant with Taylor’s child.

Taylor admitted having sex with young girls, but said the teenagers had consented and claimed some had initiated the acts.

Legal action

Following the trial the county council said since the time of the abuse there had been management and policy changes in its child care department.

A spokeswoman said: “The events connected to these court cases took place in the late 1980s, when the management of the care of young people looked after by local authorities was very different from today.

“There have been many changes since the late 1980s and these were made long before this case was known about”.

The council could face possible legal action by the victims of Taylor’s abuse.

Taylor was also ordered to be put on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from working with children.