Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Colin Davis jailed for Southampton children's home sex abuse

Colin Davis Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption The judge said Colin Davis had no regard to how his abuse would wreck the boys' lives

A former children's home manager has been jailed for 18 years for sexually abusing eight boys.

A court heard seven of Colin Davis' victims lived at the local authority home in Salerno Road, Southampton, which closed in 2013.

The 75-year-old was convicted of 30 offences including buggery and indecent assault following a six-week trial.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Ralls QC said Davis was a "wicked man and an evil sexual predator".

The judge said when boys were brought back to the home after running away, people did not want to listen to what they had to say.

The court was told most of the abused boys were under the age of 16 when the attacks took place in the 1970s and early 1980s.

In statements read out in court, one victim said the abuse had left him "angry and cold-hearted" while another described his lasting sense of paranoia.

'Sexual playthings'

More than 20 people, including some of Davis' victims, listened in the public gallery at Southampton Crown Court.

Some shed tears while others whispered "yes" when the 18-year sentence was passed.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The Salerno Road children's home closed in 2013

Judge Ralls said Davis had used boys as his "sexual playthings" and had no regard for how he had wrecked their lives.

Davis, of Lingfield Gardens, who was described as in "poor health", was impassive during the hearing.

Hampshire police said its "significant" investigation did not involve any other children's homes or institutions.

Det Insp Jim Park said: "Colin Davis abused these children over and over again, taking what he wanted from them.

"They have shown remarkable bravery and courage throughout the investigation."

He appealed for any other potential victims who were "suffering in silence" to come forward.

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