June 2016

Paedophile housemaster wins cut to jail term


A paedophile housemaster who abused a boy he was supposed to be caring for has had his jail sentence cut by top judges.

Pensioner, Dennis Grain, committed crimes of the ‘utmost gravity’ against the boy when he was aged between 11 and 14, London’s Appeal Court heard.

The 84-year-old, of Dunhampton Park, Stourport, was a housemaster at an approved school where the youngster had been detained at the time, said Mr Justice Edis. 

And his crimes, committed as many as 40 years ago, had left the victim suffering ‘long-term damage’.

Grain admitted indecent assault and six serious sexual assaults at Chester Crown Court on April 4.

He was jailed for seven-and-a-half years and ordered to serve an extra year on licence following his release. 

Grain had previously been jailed for seven years in 1995 for a series of crimes against other children. But his lawyers argued his latest sentence was far too tough.

They said he had given police a piece of paper with names of children he had abused when he was under investigation before the 1995 prosecution.

He wanted to have all his crimes dealt with at once, the court heard. But the victim had originally denied at the time he was one of those molested. 

Given Grain’s age, his earlier admissions, and his ‘good character’ since his crimes, it was wrong to jail him for a second time, lawyers argued. 

Mr Justice Edis said the victim had been ‘ashamed’ to talk until 2014.

However, Mr Justice Edis, who was sitting with  Lady Justice Sharp and Judge Neil Ford QC, ruled Grain had not been given enough credit for pleading guilty. 

His latest sentence was reduced to six years, eight months.

May 2016

Housemaster at notorious Penketh school jailed again for child abuse

AN 84-year-old man who admitted abusing boys in his care while he was a housemaster at a notorious Penketh school in the 1970s has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Dennis Grain was originally jailed in 1995 for seven years after he pleaded guilty to abusing 17 boys at Greystone Heath Approved School.

He was part of a notorious paedophile ring at the school responsible for abuse of scores of boys who lived there.

In 2015 a further victim came forward who had been systematically abused by Grain from the age of 11 to 13 on an almost daily basis, including during school trips.

Mark Connor, prosecuting at Chester Crown Court on Friday, said: “The defendant was in a position of trust and groomed the children. The boys were all vulnerable and in care and the defendant took advantage of this.

“The victim would run away and each time Mr Grain would come and collect him.”

Grain lived with his wife at the school and he abused the victim both at his home and in the school buildings.

“He told police, ‘They are ardent liars, they always have been. ‘They are street children. Abuse, yes, but not buggary and I will stick to that as long as I live,’” said Mr Connor.

“Grain said he stopped because he didn’t want to be found out. At the time, he did not think what he was doing was wrong but looking back now he can see that it was.”

When Grain, from Stourport-on-Severn, was arrested in 1994 he gave police a list of names of boys he could remember abusing.

Police visited the victim but he did not wish to complain at that time, saying instead that Grain was like a ‘father figure’ to him.

Mr Connor said: “When asked why he did not complain he said he was embarrassed and he didn’t want anyone else to know, including his own wife.”

The victim has since suffered from problems with alcohol and depression.

John Bromley-Davenport, defending, said Grain’s offences were ‘revolting’ but that he should receive a lenient sentence because of the way the case developed over many years.

He said: “In this case the police have directly approached the victim and normally the biggest hurdle is for victims to approach the police themselves.

“In this case that hurdle has been removed. At that stage he could have said something and he said nothing.

“Grain doesn’t deserve the court’s sympathy but he does deserve to be dealt with justly.”

Judge Neil Flewitt admitted Grain would have received a less severe punishment in 1995 for his offences.

Judge Flewitt, sentencing, said: “You admitted abusing him but limited the number of occasions on which the abuse had taken place and tried to pass this off as a loving relationship between a man and a woman.”

“There’s no doubt that he was particularly vulnerable due to his personal circumstances.

“You caused him psychological harm and you groomed him and this was a gross abuse of trust.

“I’m afraid your comments show your contemptuous attitude towards those that you abused.”

Grain was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for six counts of buggary concurrent with four years in prison for one count of indecent assault.