November 2018

Former centre manager who was jailed after notorious child sex offences case is locked up again

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A former assessment centre manager who was jailed for 11 years after the notorious Scawby Grove child sex offences case has been locked up for another four years.

Bernard Littlewood was originally convicted of sexual abuse and cruelty offences against 14 children but has now been found guilty of offences against another boy.

Littlewood, 74, of Colton Street, Brigg, denied seven indecent assault offences and another serious sexual offence.

They dated back to the 1970s and 1980s and involved two boys at the former Scawby Grove centre in Scawby.

He was cleared by a jury at Grimsby Crown Court of all three matters against one boy, aged 10 and 13 at the time, but was convicted of four out of five offences against the other boy, aged 15, on majority verdicts of 10 to two.

He was jailed for four years.

The court heard that Littlewood worked as the assistant manager and then manager of Scawby Grove, which was an observation and assessment centre run by the then Humberside County Council.

It dealt with young people referred through the criminal, family and social services agencies.

The building has since ceased to be used as an observation and assessment centre.

Littlewood was originally jailed for 13 years, later reduced to 11 years on appeal, in May 2002.

The sexual abuse and cruelty charges related to Scawby Grove and St Camillus Roman Catholic Community Home School, near Tadcaster.

Caroline Wigin, prosecuting, said: “He has a liking for doing this sort of thing — sexually abusing boys.”

The centre was subject to “extreme discipline” and boys who were abused “would not feel safe” to tell what had happened and did not think they would be believed.

Defence barrister Mark Barlow told the court: “He denies these offences and he denies his convictions.

“He never took that opportunity to abuse anybody.”

Judge Roger Thomas QC told Littlewood: “You were a good number of years working in caring.

“You qualified as someone who was supposed to care for young people. It took you to Scawby Grove.

“It was an assessment centre. It accommodated people who had troubled lives.

“They were in that institution to be looked after.”

The 15-year-old victim was there in the 1980s.

“Rather than being cared for by you, he was abused sexually,” said Judge Thomas.

“In his adult life, he had trouble and abused drugs to a considerable degree and underwent psychological treatment.

“What happened must have had a not inconsiderable impact on him.

“This was classic escalation from grooming.”

Littlewood will have to register as a sex offender indefinitely.

Bernard Littlewood, 74, was jailed for 11 years in 2002 for offences against 14 children and has now been found guilty of offences against another boy, dating back to the 1980s