York & North Yorkshire

Skipton children's home carer jailed for child sex abuse

Stuart Thornton Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Stuart Thornton sexually abused children at the now closed Burnside House Children's Home in Skipton between 1971 and 1976

An ex-carer who sexually abused three boys and a girl at a children's home in North Yorkshire has been jailed.

Stuart Thornton, 65, of Cross Street, Cowling, near Keighley, West Yorkshire, carried out the crimes at the now closed Burnside House Children's Home in Skipton, between 1971 and 1976.

Police said his youngest victim was aged just five years old.

At Bradford Crown Court, Thornton was jailed for 19 years after which he will be on licence for three years.

He was convicted in May of a series of sex offences including indecent assault, gross indecency with a child and a serious sexual crime in May.

North Yorkshire Police said Thornton, who denied all the charges, started volunteering at the home on Carleton Road before he was employed as carer.

Det Con Gillian Gowling said: "He abused his position in the most horrific way possible and his victims have had to live with that abuse for years before seeing justice being done.

"I hope it gives them a small degree of comfort, knowing that he has finally been held accountable for what he did to them."

She praised the victims' bravery and said "their courage means that Thornton is now facing the consequences of his sickening crimes".

Thornton was also placed on the sex offenders register for life, barred from working with children abide by the terms of an interim sexual harm prevention order.

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