Friday, January 6, 2012

Leicestershire :Frank Beck, an ex-Marine who had become a qualified child-care worker in Leicestershire Accused of Buggery And Rape of Children.

DURING THE 1970s AND 80s, Frank Beck, an ex-Marine who had become a qualified child-care worker in Leicestershire, gradually came to be regarded as one of the most gifted residential social workers of his generation. Young criminals who had a record of violent assaults often became well behaved in his care; habitual absconders stopped running away. Adolescents who had driven others to despair became devoted to Beck, and some would always remain so. Few people appear to have understood either Beck’s charisma or his potent home-brew of psychoanalysis and regression therapy. But it evidently worked. Dorothy Edwards, the then Director of Social Services, reportedly told a friend: ‘I don’t know quite what he’s doing, but he’s doing it very well.’

Gradually, however, Beck seems to have come to resemble the leader of a cult, and some of those who worked with him began to rebel. There were complaints about him using excessive force. Then, in March 1986, two male members of his staff complained that Beck had made sexual advances to them. Several members of staff, they said, had been groped, kissed or undressed by Beck during training sessions.

These complaints destroyed Beck’s career almost overnight. He was suspended, and he promptly wrote a letter of resignation which implicitly admitted the truth of the complaints (while at the same time calling them ‘overstated’). ‘I cannot say how sorry I am’, he wrote.

Here the story might have ended. Early in 1989, however, during an investigation into one of Beck’s colleagues, a man alleged that he had been buggered by Frank Beck while in care. An inquiry was launched, and the belief grew among those involved in the investigation that Beck was at the centre of a paedophile ring which involved pornography and snuff films. In the largest operation of its kind ever mounted in Britain, Leicestershire police interviewed almost 400 people who had been in Beck’s care and collected more than a score of allegations against him.

After a complex trial involving two co-defendants, Beck was found guilty of three counts of buggery against adolescent boys in care, one count of buggery and one count of rape against a girl in care, six other offences against adolescents and a number of counts of causing actual bodily harm.

His Honour Judge Edwin Jowett then handed down one of the harshest sentences since the abolition of the death penalty. Beck received five life terms – one for each of the most serious offences. He was also sentenced to twenty-four years for the remaining charges. more