Historic care home abuse acquittal

Jon Gregg secures an acquittal following an 8 day trial in Burnley.

In a case which achieved considerable publicity, both nationally and in Lancashire, Jon Gregg defended Sylvia Rostron. She, together with her husband Kelvin, ran care homes in North-East Lancashire during the 1970’s. She was charged with cruelty to two of the children under her care.  In addition, she was charged with numerous counts of indecent assault upon a boy who resided with her and her husband. Her husband faced the same charges of cruelty to children, and a number of indecent assaults against a female occupant.

A trial took place at Burnley Crown Court over eight days. Both complainants gave evidence, and were robustly cross-examined. Other children from that era, and other staff members, gave evidence. Mr. and Mrs. Rostron, who were both of impeccable character, firmly denied the allegations. Happily, after a relatively lengthy trial, the jury returned with not guilty verdicts within ninety minutes.

The case demonstrated the need for careful preparation, and attention to detail.  Due to the nature of the allegations, and the historic circumstances, there was a considerable volume of unused material to consider. As can be imagined, various agencies had been involved in dealing with the complainants over the years. A large volume of reports and notes had to be considered.

Jon is regularly briefed to defend those accused of sexual and physical assault. In the current climate of increasing numbers of prosecutions arising from historic allegations, Jon is well-placed to bring his considerable experience of defending such cases to bear.

In the present case, Jon was instructed by Messrs. Walkers of Burnley.

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