Care worker arrested over 1980s child abuse, after victim came forward following Jimmy Saville scandal

A former children’s home worker from Stony Stratford who sexually abused two girls in his care over 30 years ago has been jailed for 16 years.

David May, 66, of King Street, was arrested in the wake of the Jimmy Saville investigation.

Recorder David Holborn, sentenced May today at Chelmsford Crown Court following his conviction earlier at Snaresbrook Crown Court of three offences of rape and three of indecent assault between 1981 and 1984.

The judge told May he had played favourites and targeted these girls, lavishing attention on them.

He described how the regime at the home in Plaistow was harsh with cruel punishments.

The judge said May took advantage of that by “playing the good guy”. He gave the girls presents, cigarettes and even supplied cannabis to gain their trust and allow the assaults to take place.

The defendant ran a photography group in which only these two girls took part and he used the head’s study, with the windows blacked out, to commit most of the abuse, said Recorder Holborn.

He added that May had deprived the youngsters of their innocence and that his victims were both suffering from long term psychological effects.

May sat in the dock shaking his head in denial throughout the hearing.

The trial heard that May, who used to live in Poplar, east London, met the girls while working at the home. He was first arrested in 1985 but police took no action against him at the time.

He was re-arrested again in 2012 when the second victim came forward in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal.

May denied ever abusing the girls or ever taking them to his flat, saying he had ‘no idea’ why they were making it up.

The prosecution said May molested the girls but they were convinced to keep it as a ‘dirty secret.’

The abuse then became more regular, shifting locations, including some times at his own home, and often in the presence of each other.