Humberside

Hull foster carer child sex abuse 'devastating', says neighbour

Anonymous woman

A neighbour who reported a foster carer for child abuse was left "devastated" by what she heard in secret recordings she made that led to his prosecution.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for 19 years at Hull Crown Court on Monday.

He raped his granddaughter and sexually abused other children in his care over a nine-year period while he was a Hull City Council-registered foster carer.

His neighbour recorded sounds through their shared wall.

The neighbour, who also cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she and her family became suspicious after her husband "saw the man acting sexually inappropriately" with one of the children in the back garden.

She said they also heard screams and other "odd" sounds from next door, which prompted them to set up a microphone.

"We heard a lot of smacking, proper skin on skin slaps, and it happened about 10 times."

Image caption The man was deregistered as a foster carer by Hull City Council in 2012 after the recording was submitted to police

One night in September 2010 the family were woken up by "screams, bangs and crashes", she said.

"It was so loud we all came running downstairs... and it was such a commotion.

"The woman was shouting 'you're evil' and the man saying 'but I was only laid with the [child]'.

"The argument carried on outside with lots of abuse and swearing... we couldn't believe it and we just thought of the children."

She submitted the recording to police, which subsequently led to the children being removed from his care and him being de-registered as a foster carer in 2012.

Image caption Last month, the man was found guilty of rape and attempted rape of a child under 13 following a trial at Hull Crown Court. He admitted 10 other child sex offence charges at a previous hearing

The neighbour said the case had had a devastating impact on their lives.

"It was horrendous and it just put a really big strain on our family. It was awful.

"It's something that's been with me and my family for seven years and it's something that's never left me.

"I've tried to move on with things but it's always at the back of my mind."

She said she had been left "anxious and depressed", but was now relieved the former foster carer had "finally" been sentenced for his crimes.

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