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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.

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