Home news Man jailed for Palmerston House children's home rapes

Man jailed for Palmerston House children's home rapes


A children’s home worker has been jailed for 15 years for repeatedly raping an 11-year-old boy in his care.Willy Gillham, 64, attacked the boy at the former Palmerston House home in Romsey, Hampshire, in the 1980s.The victim, who was left “bleeding, devastated and terrified”, felt unable to report the abuse for more than 30 years, Southampton Crown Court heard.Gillham, of Deux-Sevres, France, had denied three counts of buggery and one of indecent assault.The NSPCC children’s charity said his victim had been “betrayed in the worst way”.

Previously, a jury heard how Gillham went to the room of the boy, who had been sent there for misbehaving.Rebecca Austin, prosecuting, said the defendant “grabbed hold of him, threw him on the bed, twisted his arm behind his back and used his weight to keep him down” before raping the boy.Gillham then threatened to send the boy to a secure unit at the other end of the country if he reported the attack, Ms Austin said.After bleeding for several days, the boy fled to the home of a social worker, only to be returned to the children’s home by the police.’Admiration for victim’He was raped by Gillham on two further occasions, the court heard.After more than 30 years of “fright and embarrassment”, he told his mother and then the police what had happened.Gillham was convicted by a jury following a four-day trial.Det Insp Toby Elcock said: “I have great admiration for the victim who helped bring this man to justice. “To come forward and speak to police more than 30 years after being subjected to such a horrific level of offending takes remarkable bravery and courage.”The children’s home in Botley Road had already been demolished before the police inquiry began.
Source: BBC Hamp