October 2018

Why Derby care home worker who abused boys will not face prosecution

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A jury has concluded that a former care home worker from Chaddesden sexually abused boys.

But Norman Sully, who carried out the offences during the 1970s, will not face any prosecution as he suffers from dementia.

A two-week trial at Derby Crown Court heard how the now 84-year-old carried out the sickening sex attacks when worked as the superintendent at Elmhurst Children’s Home, in Lonsdale Place.

At the conclusion of what is called a “finding of fact” trial, the jury of 10 women and two men spent more than eight hours to reach its verdict that Sully sexually assaulted four former Derby boys.

But they found him not guilty of an allegation put forward by a man who alleged Sully sexually assaulted him at a children’s home in Nottingham around the same time.

Judge Shaun Smith QC handed Sully, of John F Kennedy Gardens, the only punishment available to him by law – an absolute discharge.

He told the jury: “This is no reflection at all on the complainants who bravely came to court and told you what happened to them.

“I know they were spoken to before the start of the trial and were told this would be the case.

“The important thing, as far as they are concerned, is that someone like you has listened to the allegation of what they said happened to them in the 1970s and believed them.”

Prosecutor Dawn Pritchard, when she opened the case to the jury at the start of the trial, outlined each of the allegations which the jury decided Sully carried out.

She said: “The boys often asked Norman Sully for cigarettes and he invited them into his office where he allowed them a drag of his cigarette through him.

“He would smoke and blow smoke into their mouths and when this happened their lips made contact rather like a kiss which he would do in this way whilst holding the back of the boys head.

“This happened to (victim A) on several occasions.”

Miss Pritchard said the second victim was touched by Sully, a former soldier and Rolls-Royce worker, while he was laying in his bed at Elmhurst.

The third victim, also a former teenage resident at Elmhurst, had vapour rub applied to his body by Sully after complaining he had a cold.

Miss Pritchard said: “Norman Sully tried to touch the boy sexually, he tried to resist but Sully said he would stop his home visits if he didn’t let him.

“The touching was always under his pyjamas.”
And Miss Pritchard told the jury of 10 women and two men how the fourth victim contacted the police in February last year to say he had been sexually abused by Sully at Elmhurst.

She said: “He was a teenager when he arrived at Elmhurst and had only been there a matter of days when Norman Sully, who was the head carer and who he called “uncle” asked him to come into his office.

“He introduced himself as Norman and said they would ‘get on fine’.

“On one occasion he was in bed asleep and when he woke up he found his covers off and Norman Sully touching him sexually.

“The next day he reported this and the police became involved.

“A statement was taken and he was told he was a liar.”

The identities of the alleged victims are protected by law.

A “trial of fact” meant that the jury was not asked to find Sully either guilty or not guilty but instead to determine whether or not he carried out the acts they that were alleged against him.

This is because Judge Smith has found him unfit to face trial due to the defendant’s diagnosis of dementia.

It also means he cannot face any ordinary form of prosecution.