Children's home worker jailed for 1980s sexual abuse

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A children's home worker has been jailed for nine years for the sexual abuse of boys dating back to the 1980s.

Jack Jones, previously known as Eamonn Tallon, from Sutton-on-the-Forest, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to 14 sexual offences against three boys aged between 11 and 13.

Two of the victims were children in the care of the Thorold Road children's home in Southampton, Hampshire, where the 57-year-old worked.

The abuse happened in communal rooms and bedrooms at the home as well as during trips to a swimming pool, Southampton Crown Court heard.

The court was also told that Jones had previously been convicted of similar offences while he was a Scout master in 2003.

A second defendant, Stuart Murdoch, 54, of Southampton, who was Jones' partner, was found guilty of five counts of abuse against the third victim at the house the pair shared. His offences were not related to the children's home.

He was jailed for five years and both men were ordered to sign on the sex offenders' register for life.

Sentencing Jones, Judge Nicholas Rowland said: "This case involves a gross breach of trust in relation to these vulnerable boys at the children's home.

"You should have been protecting them instead you were abusing them. You accepted you were grooming them."

He told Murdoch: "You tried to blame your victim for what you were doing to him but the jury was having none of it."

One of Jones' victims from the children's home said in a victim impact statement that as a child he was vulnerable and the abuse had led him to run away from the home and enter a life of drug abuse.

He added: "This man took away my innocence as a child, he should have been there to protect and support me. It makes me sick to this day."

The third victim, who was abused at the house of the two defendants, said the abuse had affected his education and led to him "isolating and detaching" himself from other people and making him "incapable of forming meaningful relationships".