A carer at a former children’s home has been sentenced to nine years’ in prison after he was convicted of 11 charges of non-recent child sexual abuse.
Paul Setchfield, 64 (30.11.52) of Cromer, Norfolk, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, 12 October, after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting a girl and boy, both aged under 14.
The charges relate to a period between October 1978 and November 1981 when Setchfield was a member of staff with the title of ‘House Parent’ at St Leonard’s Children’s Home in Hornchurch, Essex.
The court heard the female victim, who is now in her 40s, contacted police in 2011 after being given access to her social services file.
She was interviewed by officers from the Met’s Child Protection Team. In two police interviews, she said she was sexually abused by Setchfield at the children’s home when she was aged under 14.
She said that on two occasions, Setchfield took her into his bed in the ‘sleep over’ room for staff.
The victim said Setchfield also drove her to motels in Kent and Chester and took her to his friend’s flat where sexual abuse took place.
The male victim, who is now in his 40s, came forward to police in 2013 and said he had witnessed the abuse of the girl. He said Setchfield had also got into bed with him and sexually abused him.
Setchfield was interviewed by police in June 2012 and August 2013. He denied the allegations against him in prepared statements and replied ‘no comment’ to all questions put to him.
Officers in the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command obtained statements from a number of witnesses who corroborated what the victims had said and Setchfield was charged with 11 counts of indecent assault in May 2016.
He was convicted of 11 charges of indecent assault, eight against the girl and three against the boy, after a one-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court earlier this month.
Detective Constable Daniel Stevens, of the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences (CASO) Command, said: “Setchfield continued to deny he was responsible for the abuse, even after being confronted with the compelling testimony from the two victims, along with corroborating witness statements. Although it has taken more than 30 years for the victims to gain justice, Setchfield has now been brought to account for his actions.”
Detective Inspector Debbie McCormack, of the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences (CASO) Command, said: “I would like to praise the victims in this case for having the courage to come forward and report the abuse and give evidence in court.
"I would urge anyone who has suffered abuse to come forward and contact your local police service.
"We take all allegations of this type extremely seriously, and we ensure that victims are supported throughout the process."
If you would like to report any offences, call 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous.