March 2012

Care home worker jailed after illicit sex with teenage resident

A CHILDREN’S home worker who had an affair with a teenage resident under her care has been jailed for six years.

Susan Bromley secretly engaged in sex acts with the boy while working night shifts at a Stoke-on-Trent care home in the mid-1990s.

The abuse started when the boy was 14 years old and continued after he left the home.

Years later, he reported the abuse to the police, which eventually led to Bromley’s arrest.

The 53-year-old, of Frank Street, Stoke, was yesterday found guilty of six counts of indecent assault following a trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones told Bromley she had betrayed a “position of considerable trust”.

He said: “You were in a special position which involved administering pastoral care. Your victim was a vulnerable person, who had his own difficulties, which is why he came to be in the care system.”

The court had heard how Bromley’s duties at the care home involved looking after its residents during the night.

Her victim came to the home in 1995 at the age of 13, and stayed there for just over a year.

Prosecutor Tariq Shakoor told the court how Bromley and her victim were close and they soon became inseparable.

He said: “She would be nice towards him, occasionally giving him cigarettes, sweets and money, which he used to buy cannabis.

“The sexual contact between them started with a kiss, and then developed. She performed sex acts on him, and then full sexual intercourse took place.”

The pair had sex in the care home’s communal areas at night, away from residents’ bedrooms so they would not be heard.

Bromley, who was married at the time, also drove her victim to her own house so they could have more privacy.

Their behaviour alerted the suspicions of Bromley’s colleagues, who reported it to their superiors.

But Bromley resigned from her job before any internal investigation could take place.

By this stage, her victim had gone back to live with his family, although their sexual relationship continued.

Darren Whitehead, mitigating, told the court Bromley had never been in trouble before. He said her victim had been a “sexually mature” young man, who had been besotted with her.

The six counts of indecent assault related to Bromley engaging in various sex acts with her victim when he was aged 14 and 15. Bromley was found not guilty of three other counts relating to similar acts when her victim was aged 13.

Sentencing her yesterday, Judge Trevor Jones told Bromley that she would be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and she will never be allowed to work with children again.