Two former colleagues at Coventry children’s home are on trial facing 22 counts of child cruelty and indecent assaults against children under 16.

Alan Todd and Kenneth Owen are accused of sexually abusing young children at Wisteria Lodge in Earlsdon in the 1980s.

Both deny all allegations against them. Todd pleaded not guilty to five counts of cruelty and nine counts of indecent assault to a person under 16.

Owen denies five counts of cruelty and three counts of indecent assault to a person under 16.

They both face accusations from a total of nine victims who claim to have been abused during their stays at the children’s home in the early to mid-1980s.

Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, said:  “There are three categories of abuse here.

“Children were bullied and subjected to humiliating and frightening treatment that fell short of physical violence but was far removed from anything that could be excused as horseplay.

“There were occasions when children were deliberately physically assaulted and also occasions when female children were sexually assaulted.

“Both Todd and Owen were responsible for all three forms against children they were responsible for as carers.

“Some of the children would never be described as angels, but these allegations did not appear out of nowhere.

“It was simply that all it took was for somebody to give a lead.”

It was heard other accusations against Todd and Owen include holding a boy over a well at night and threatening to throw him in. 

Mr Heywood said that the young boy was so afraid that he wet himself.

The trial continues.

To read the full article in the Coventry Telegraph click here.

Click here to view Mark Heywood QC’s Crime profile.