Appeal for help in sexual abuse inquiry into former Hornchurch children’s home

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:41 30 June 2016

General view of the Home Office building in Westminster, central London, where the inquiry was initiated. Credit: PA images

General view of the Home Office building in Westminster, central London, where the inquiry was initiated. Credit: PA images

PA/PA Photos

People with a link to a children’s home, where young people were sexually abused, have been asked to come forward to take part in an inquiry.

Former residents, members of staff, relatives and visitors to St Leonard’s children’s home, Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, have been asked to share any experiences of reporting sexual abuse to the authorities.

In 2001, the home’s superintendent Alan Prescott and a former house parent William Starling stood trial for abusing children.

Prescott admitted indecently assaulting four boys at the home between 1970 and 1980 and Starling was found guilty of 19 offences, including two rapes, over a period of 20 years.

Between 1965 and the home’s closure in 1984, about 3,000 children are believed to have lived in its 13 cottages

The appeal is part of a probe into whether public bodies have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and was set-up following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has launched 13 investigations into the procedures, which aim to prevent the sexual abuse of children going unreported.

This is the largest and most ambitious inquiry ever established in England and Wales.

The investigation into St Leonard’s home is one of four case studies looking at the support given to survivors of child abuse.

Anyone willing to come forward need to register here by July 1.

Latest Romford News Stories

Sea cadets were welcomed to celebrate the 80th birthday of the HMS Belfast with a special anniversary weekend.

An English teacher who has dreamed of becoming a writer since she was a child, has released her first novel, centred around love, friendship and parenting.


Great English landscape designer Humphry Repton died 200 years ago this week. Local historian Georgina Green looks at his life and connections to the area


An 83-year-old Rainham man who lost his wife after she contracted cancer from washing his work overalls, has secured a six-figure payout thanks to his solicitor.


A Barking grandmother is searching for the Good Samaritan who lent a helping hand after she fell and broke her wrist.


Have you got a front page story, or a community issue that you think needs reporting?

Fewer EU citizens are registering for national insurance numbers in Havering than before the Brexit vote, the latest figures reveal.

Yesterday, 15:00

An adventurer’s efforts to bring wild cat racing to Romford Greyhound Stadium was not a success, as Prof Ged Martin explains


Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now