Cheshire care home worker jailed for abusing vulnerable children

A former care worker has been sentenced after being found guilty of a number of historical sexual offences.

Bruce McLean, 62, from Runcorn was found guilty of eight out of 12 charges against three further victims including buggery, attempted buggery and indecent assault at Chester Crown Court.

He has today (2 September) been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In November 2018 he was found guilty of 13 charges relating to four victims, but the jury could not reach a verdict on a further 20 charges.

Today’s result followed a retrial in respect of those charges and relating to five victims.

The offences he was found guilty of today relate to allegations of abuse at the former Kilrie Children’s Home in Knutsford between August 1980 and March 1991 and Taxel Edge Children’s Home in Derbyshire between October 1975 and June 1978.

One of the victims resided at Rosebank Children’s Care Home in Lymm, Cheshire. Mclean had access to the home as his father worked there.

Aged between 8 and 15 the children were particularly vulnerable and were sent to what should have been a safe and stable place, but they were subject to repeated and brutal abuse at the hands of McLean. He gave them gifts and attention, which has undoubtedly added to their confusion and trauma.

DI Sarah Oliver from Cheshire Police, who was in charge of the investigation, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to praise the victims for their bravery; even more so as some had to experience reliving their trauma a second time due to the retrial.

“The impact of crimes like this on the victims should not be underestimated. They have had to live with memories of the abuse for many years and I truly hope that today’s result helps them in some way come to terms with their past.

“It took a lot of courage to get to the point of being able to talk fully about the abuse they had to endure and then to brave having to relive their abuse in the witness stand. Specialist officers supported them every step of the way so that they could tell their story and achieve the most important thing for any victim of such an atrocious crime - to be believed. For a vulnerable and frightened child who was scared to talk because they feared no one would believe them over an adult carer, this moment is so important despite the passage of time. They have finally been vindicated and are getting the justice they deserve.

“I hope that it helps give others – who may have suffered similar abuse and have not felt able to talk about it – the courage to come forward.”

Rachael Barber, of Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Bruce McLean sexually abused vulnerable young boys that he was supposed to protect.  

"They had been placed in care and were particularly vulnerable and easy to exploit. 

“McLean came across to these impressionable boys as someone they could turn to. He had friends on the Manchester United Football team and regularly took boys in his care to watch them train. He would also buy them presents and clothes. 

“These vulnerable children enjoyed the attention but McLean’s motives were sinister.  Some of the victims have since struggled to lead emotionally healthy lives and have lived for years with this. The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank them for their courage in helping bring this prosecution and hope that the verdicts and sentence bring some sense of justice.”

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