Needham Market man John Allen found guilty of a string of sexual offences against children

John Allen arrives at Mold Magistraites Court, North Wales. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

John Allen arrives at Mold Magistraites Court, North Wales. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

A man from Suffolk has been found guilty of 26 charges of historical sex abuse against children who lived in his care homes.

John Allen, aged 73 and from Foxglove Avenue, Needham Market, had denied 29 counts of indecent assault, nine other serious sexual assaults and two counts of indecency with a child at Mold Crown Court in north Wales.

The offences occurred between the late 1960s and 1990 at residential properties in and around the Wrexham area run by Allen who created “a sexualised atmosphere alongside a culture of fear” according to prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC.

She said Allen employed staff to look after the children but he involved himself in some of the work duties including at night and was “a regular and formidable presence”.

Miss Laws said boys at the homes described Allen as being abusive and at times violent and would often be under the influence of drink.

Most of the victims felt they had no choice but to put up with Allen’s attentions as they became “hardened to the abuse”, she added.

Giving evidence, Allen said he had no sexual interest in young boys and thought the complainants were after compensation in the wake of the publicity of his previous convictions.

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The jury had been told that Allen was convicted in 1996 of indecently assaulting six boys, aged between 12 and 16, at his care homes in the 1970s

Allen claims that was a miscarriage of justice.

Today he was found guilty of 21 counts of indecent assault, one charge of indecency with a child and four serious sex assaults.

Allen was also cleared of two other serious sexual assaults, while the jury is continuing to deliberate on 12 counts.

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