June 2017

Pensioner abused children

AN Evil pensioner forced children to sleep naked on freezing floors and threw them against a wall as a ‘game’ in a 13-year reign of terror.

Sandra Clayton, 69, also forced soiled underwear into the mouth of at least one child as a twisted punishment if they weren’t ‘clean’.

The incidents took place between 1979 and 1992 and relate to three children in her care at the time but who were not related to her.

None of the children, who are now adults, can be named as a result of a court order.

She was dressed smartly in a black and white shirt and blue trousers and spoke only to confirm her pleas and that she understood proceedings.

At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Stephen Sparkes told magistrates: “She initiated a game called ‘swinging’ in which she would pick up the children and swing them around a room and let them go so that the crashed in the wall.

“(They) were made to sleep naked on the floor with no sheets when it was freezing cold. They were subjected to beatings.”

Mr Sparkes told how one of the children had to go to hospital due to his injuries.

He also said Clayton would regularly check at least one of the children’s underwear.

Mr Sparkes said: “If she deemed them to be not clean enough, she would wrap the underwear around her fingers and force them into (the child’s) mouth.”

Judge Rupert Overbury warned Clayton she could face jail but adjourned sentencing until a pre-sentence report could be prepared by the probation service.

He said: “I am not making any promises at all and I cannot sentence you until I know more about you.

“It may very well result in a prison sentence – I don’t know.

“I will weigh up all the factors of the case and come to a decision.”

One of the victims appeared at the hearing and made a request to read out a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing next month.

Judge Overbury agreed he could, and asked for representations to be made to other victims to allow them to do the same if they wished.

Clayton, of Brightlingsea, Essex was given unconditional bail until the sentencing hearing.