Shirley Oaks: Man who was ‘repeatedly sexually abused’ at youngsters’s residence reveals why he saved ‘darkish secret’ for almost six many years | UK Information


For almost six many years, Philip Wells carried a “darkish secret” with him that he could not even share together with his spouse.

On the age of 10, he was taken into the care of Lambeth Council when he says he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a instructor whereas staying at a youngsters’s residence.

Over the course of seven months on the infamous Shirley Oaks campus, Mr Wells says he was abused two or 3 times per week – and regardless of reporting his accidents on the time, workers turned a blind eye.

Philip Wells pictured as a boy. Pic: Philip Wells
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Philip Wells pictured when he was a boy. Pic: Philip Wells

Believing he was the one particular person being focused, and never totally understanding what was occurring to him, Mr Wells saved quiet in regards to the abuse he suffered and solely revealed his ordeal when he reached his 60s.

“It turns into a darkish secret,” he tells Sky Information. “It is like having a rucksack in your again and it is filled with darkish secrets and techniques.

“I used to be assaulted repeatedly by one of many lecturers however I assumed: ‘This should be pure. This should be the way in which issues are finished in faculties’.

“It was solely after I left that I realised this is not the way it’s finished in any respect.

“However I grew to become scared of lecturers and I would not go to high school.”

Mr Wells, who has waived his proper to anonymity, says he was recurrently abused after swimming classes at Shirley Oaks however on one event, he was assaulted whereas making ready for a Christmas theatre manufacturing of Aladdin.

“He had me dressed up as Aladdin in silk robes,” Mr Wells says. “That was one of many instances I used to be assaulted.

“I used to be a bit blue-eyed, blond-haired boy with a choir voice…. a bit angel despatched to him I suppose he thought.

“I can keep in mind it vividly in my thoughts. They don’t seem to be flashbacks, they’re continuously on my thoughts.

“It by no means goes away. It by no means turns into simpler.”

Philip Wells says he was sexually abused as a boy at Shirley Oaks children's home. Pic: Philip Wells
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Mr Wells says he was sexually abused as a boy at Shirley Oaks youngsters’s residence. Pic: Philip Wells

Later as we speak, an inquiry will publish its findings into the size of sexual abuse suffered by youngsters within the care of Lambeth Council over a number of many years.

The inquiry has heard that tons of of kids have been subjected to extended sexual, bodily and racial abuse and that paedophiles focused the Shirley Oaks campus in Croydon, which may home as much as 350 youngsters till its closure in 1983.

Victims have been “drugged, tortured and sexually assaulted” by “very many paedophiles”, the Unbiased Inquiry into Baby Sexual Abuse has been advised.

One woman stated she was raped 500 instances by older boys at Shirley Oaks throughout the Nineteen Fifties.

Mr Wells, who moved to Shirley Oaks within the Nineteen Fifties after his mom fell sick, says he believes there was a “corrupt viper’s nest of paedophiles” concentrating on children on the residence.

Shirley Oaks children's home closed in 1983. Pic: Shirley Oaks Survivors Association
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An inquiry has examined abuse at Shirley Oaks youngsters’s residence. Pic: Shirley Oaks Survivors Affiliation

“It is completely disgraceful what they’ve finished,” he says.

“Even within the Nineteen Fifties, councillors and councils ought to have been extra switched on, certainly.

“Nobody did something about it or suspected something when all of the indicators have been there.

“How may which have been allowed to go on for that lengthy, with such blatant indicators of that occurring?”

Mr Wells says he did not communicate to anybody in regards to the abuse he suffered, not even his spouse Shirley, till he was impressed by the bravery of the victims of the Rotherham youngster sexual exploitation scandal.

“After they went to court docket, I used to be so impressed with their fortitude,” he provides.

“I assumed: ‘Good on you. For those who’ve acquired the center to do it, it is about time I did one thing about it.'”

Mr Wells, who’s now aged 77, determined to contact the Shirley Oaks Survivors’ Affiliation (SOSA) which suggested him to contact police.

Philip Wells says he was sexually abused as a boy at Shirley Oaks children's home. Pic: Philip Wells
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Mr Wells says the bravery of abuse victims in Rotherham impressed him to come back ahead. Pic: Philip Wells

“That is an enormous step for somebody in my age group to say you have been severely sexually assaulted while you have been 10 years previous repeatedly and made to conduct acts of gross indecency,” he says.

In response to Mr Wells, two Metropolitan Police investigators took on his case however his file from Shirley Oaks had been “destroyed” so there was no file of his keep there.

The officers spent hours trawling archives and finally discovered his identify in a creed register which confirmed he had been a resident on the residence, he provides.

Mr Wells says he revealed the identify of his alleged abuser to police who confirmed the instructor labored on the residence when he was there as a toddler.

Various different individuals have claimed they have been additionally abused by the identical instructor, based on SOSA, and it’s believed he has since died.

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Victims: Inquiry is an ‘unpalatable circus’

“I do not hate him,” Mr Wells says.

“He is gone, he is useless. It doesn’t suggest something to me.

“Fortunately he is not round.”

After reporting the abuse he suffered to police, Mr Wells says he did not inform his spouse Shirley he had made a grievance for an additional two weeks.

“She by no means questioned me,” he says. “She realised it was darkish secret I did not actually need to focus on however I did not need to conceal it from her both.

“She’s been an absolute brick. She’s completely supported me and let me get on with it.”

Shirley Oaks children's home closed in 1983. Pic: Shirley Oaks Survivors Association
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Paedophiles focused the Shirley Oaks campus, an inquiry has heard. Pic: Shirley Oaks Survivors Affiliation

Mr Wells says the abuse he suffered as a toddler affected him “tremendously” into his grownup life and he “would not belief anybody”.

The daddy-of-five and grandfather-of-18 says he has additionally turn into extraordinarily protecting of his youthful relations.

“I am all the time saying to them: ‘Look, when your youngsters go to golf equipment and issues like that, be very cautious individuals have been checked out’,” he provides.

Mr Wells says after police investigated his case, he obtained a written apology from Lambeth Council and compensation which he intends to depart for his youngsters.

“The letter was meaningless as a result of I imagine many in Lambeth Council knew what was occurring,” he provides.

The Unbiased Inquiry into Baby Sexual Abuse is ready to publish its report on youngsters within the care of Lambeth Council at noon.



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