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Shirley Oaks children's home sex abuse victim speaks out

Paul (L) and David Annon speaks to guests and members of the media about their late brother Mark Image copyright Leon Neal
Image caption Paul Annon (L) broke down while speaking with his brother David (R) to members of the media about their late brother Mark.

A victim of sexual and physical abuse at a south London children's home has spoken out for the first time.

Paul Annon said he was abused by a man and a women while living at Shirley Oaks, in Croydon, in the 1960s and 1970s.

The 51-year-old was speaking after the publication of a report which found abuse took place at the home on an "industrial scale".

Mr Annon said he was just five years old when the abuse started.

A report from the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (Sosa) has named 27 men as alleged abusers and links 20 deaths to the home.

Two of the people named in the report - William Hook and Philip Temple - have been convicted of child sexual abuse.

Image caption Paul Annon says he was abused at Shirley Oaks children's home between 1969 and 1979.

In an interview with the Press Association, Mr Annon said whenever he tried to tell someone about the abuse "it would fall on deaf ears".

"A big man used to come into the room and sexually abuse me, and a woman would come in" he said.

Mr Annon said he was unable to remember the names of his abusers because of how young he was at the time.

"I didn't really understand it at the time" he added.

Image caption The former Shirley Oaks site in Croydon

Mr Annon was put into care with his two brothers after their mother died, and lived at the children's home between 1969 and 1979.

His experiences have impacted his relationships, pushed him into drug taking and drinking and left him feeling "worthless", he said.

Mr Annon also blames the abuse for the premature death of his brother, who died nine days before his fiftieth birthday from cirrhosis of the liver.

"What happened to him pushed him to what he did" Mr Annon said.

In the wake of the findings within the report Lambeth Council announced it will compensate former residents of Shirley Oaks.

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