Frank Beck sexually and physically abused more than 200 looked after children while working as a residential care home manager for Leicestershire County Council. This book shows how he got away with it, after gulling social workers and council managers.
It is a new edition of a paperback originally published in 1998, with an additional new chapter on Greville Janner MP. Janner, a lawyer, backbencher and influential figure in Labour, avoided prosecution for his involvement in the Leicestershire care scandal, despite being named as an abuser during the criminal case against Beck.
In an epilogue to this new, enlarged edition of this acclaimed book on the scandal, Paul Gosling deals with Janner's dominance of the local Labour Party, his influence within the wider parliamentary party and the failed police investigations into him.
Detectives carrying out the latest investigation into Janner are working on the theory that he abused children with Beck.
Abuse of Trust, first published in 1998, has long been viewed by social work professionals as an important audit of this case.
Gosling and the BBC journalist Mark D'Arcy, his co-author, investigate how Beck and his cronies came to rampage through children's homes in Leicestershire for more than a decade. Despite complaints from children, they continued their reign of terror for 13 years, aided by — at best — incompetence at Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Police, and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Hundreds of children in the care of the local authority were damaged, and some tragically died.
One is suspected, now, of being murdered.
At the time Beck was brought to justice for the scandal, allegations that the local MP Greville Janner was also involved were roundly dismissed in the House of Commons, where Janner was supported by his fellow Leicestershire MPs.
Today when the pendulum seems to swinging again to start disbelieving claims by survivors that they were sexually abused the republication of a book examining one of the first major child sex scandals is a timely reminder of what victims faced in the 1970s and 1980s.
Abuse of Trust looks at the case of the long dead Frank Beck, a charismatic social worker who got away with abusing possibly up to 200 children for two decades before finally being caught and convicted.
It is particularly relevant as Alexis Jay’s child sex abuse inquiry is planning to resurrect the dire situation in Leicestershire social services at the time with an examination of the role of the then local MP, Greville Janner, who was facing multiple charges of child sexual abuse at the time of his death last year.
The book written by two diligent journalists, Mark D’Arcy, a BBC Parliament correspondent and Paul Gosling, an ex Leicester councillor and an experienced freelance journalist...
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to remind themselves about the sheer nastiness, brutality and cover ups that seem to dog this area.
— David Hencke, investigative journalist, DavidHencke.com
An important and in-depth analysis of one case among the many... involving members of the 'establishment', where child victims of sexual crime, adult survivors and those professionals supporting them have been silenced and denied justice.
— Dr Liz Davies Emeritus Reader in Child Protection London Metropolitan University, www.canburypress.com
Few books have managed to get to the heart of a story of abuse as thoroughly and accurately as Abuse of Trust... Chilling.
— Christian Wolmar Journalist and author, www.canburypress.com