October 2017: Now living in the Countess Wear area of Exeter

November 2012

Leonard Davey, abuser seen on bus, jailed for child sex assaults

A Devon university researcher who was tried for historical indecent assaults after a victim recognised him on a bus has been jailed for three years.

Leonard Davey, 64, of Higher Wear Road, Exeter, was found guilty of six indecent assaults against one girl and three on another in the 1960s and ’70s.

Exeter Crown Court heard Davey abused one victim over 13 years, when she was aged eight to 21.

The judge said the victims had been “compelling and truthful witnesses”.

Reliving abuse ‘difficult’

The court heard one of the women Davey assaulted when she was a girl recognised him while they were both travelling on a bus.

She said she had been prompted to report the abuse after she had watched him looking at a naked five-year-old girl as the bus had passed the child’s property.

Davey denied touching one victim but admitted sexual contact with the other girl when he was 10 or 11 and playing “doctor and nurse” games.

Sentencing, Judge Francis Gilbert told Davey: “The jury, in my opinion rightly, found the victims to be compelling and truthful witnesses even though they were looking back many years.

“It is unfortunate you continue to maintain one or both are lying.”

The judge also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for life and imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention order, forbidding unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.

After the case, the victim who saw him on the bus said she felt compelled to go to the police after so many years.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said her aim was “to make sure he could not get at any other children in the future”.

She said: “It was a very, very hard thing to do because I had put the abuse behind me and it was difficult to relive it.

“It meant I carried it with me all the time whereas I had been able to bury it for a while.

“What he did has had a long-lasting effect on my life.”

Davey worked as a research assistant for the Centre for Rural Policy at Exeter University, specialising in providing statistics for Defra and the European Commission.

October 2012

Man convicted of child sex assaults after victim spots him on bus

A government researcher who abused two girls is facing jail after one of his victims recognised him on a bus after 40 years.

Leonard Davey, a former Topsham darts player, thought the secrets of his past were long forgotten but has been found guilty of assaults going back 50 years to when he was a teenager.

Davey, aged 64, was spotted by chance by one of the two girls he abused in the 1960s and 1970s.

Moments after she recognised him the bus passed a balcony where a girl aged about five had run outside naked.

Watching as he ogled the child, she realised she had a duty to report what had happened to her years earlier.

Davey had no idea he had been recognised until he was arrested and questioned by detectives, who uncovered a completely different set of allegations when they investigated his past.

In the 35 years that Davey harboured his secret he built a life as an apparently respectable citizen, having been happily married for 24 years.

He was employed as a research assistant for the Centre for Rural Policy at Exeter University for 18 years, where he worked on statistics for Defra and the European Commission and was highly respected in his field.

He also played darts at a high level, at first in leagues in Topsham and Exeter, then representing Devon.

Davey, of Higher Wear Road, Countess Wear, Exeter, denied six indecent assaults against one girl and three against a second. He was found guilty of all the charges and remanded in custody pending sentence by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, who told him he should expect a jail sentence.

He nodded his head as the jury returned their unanimous verdicts, which were greeted with gasps of delight by the victims and their families in the public gallery.

During a four-day trial the two victims told how they were abused repeatedly, in one case when the girl visited Davey’s home, and on the other when he visited her parents and crept into her bedroom. The victim who reported him to the police said she had tried to put her childhood trauma behind her, but the chance sighting of Davey on the bus persuaded her she had to go to the police.

Davey told the jury that he had never touched that victim, but admitted sexual contact with the other girl when he was very young.

He said it happened when he was 10 or 11 and involved “doctor and nurse” games, sometimes with other children while playing on the canal bank in Exeter.

October 2012

Abuser seen on bus Leonard Davey guilty of sex assaults

A university researcher has been found guilty of historical indecent assaults after a victim recognised him on a bus.

Leonard Davey, 64, of Higher Wear Road, Exeter, Devon, denied six indecent assaults against one girl and three against another in the 1960s and 70s.

At the city’s Crown Court, he was found guilty of all charges and is due to be sentenced on 1 November.

Davey was told to expect a jail sentence by Judge Francis Gilbert and was remanded in custody.

‘Doctor and nurse’

The court heard one of the women Davey assaulted when she was a girl recognised him while they were both travelling on a bus.

She said she had been prompted to report the abuse after she had watched him looking at a naked five-year-old girl as the bus had passed the child’s property.

Davey denied touching one victim but admitted sexual contact with the other girl when he was 10 or 11 and playing “doctor and nurse” games.

The two women told the court they had been abused repeatedly by Davey, in one case when the girl visited his home and the other when he visited her parents’ home and crept into her bedroom.

Davey worked as a research assistant for the Centre for Rural Policy at Exeter University, specialising in providing statistics for Defra and the European Commission.

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