March 2000

Care worker gets six years

A FORMER Merseyside care worker was jailed for six years on Monday after being convicted of sexually abusing girls in her care.

50-year-old Gail Stack repeatedly shouted out that she was not guilty during Judge Ian Crompton’s sentencing remarks and when she was led to the cells turned round in fury to two of her victims sitting behind her in the public gallery and hurled abuse at them.

The jury of four men and eight women at Liverpool Crown Court had taken less than an hour to find her guilty of seven charges of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

The offences occurred between 1974 and 1978 while the three victims were resident at Derwent House, then an assessment centre, in Old Swan, Liverpool, where Stack was a supervisor.

Judge Crompton told Stack, of Waterpark Road, Prenton, that the maximum sentence for the offences at the time was two years – and he imposed three consecutive sentences of two years for each victim.

“They were particularly nasty assaults. These girls were very young and in particularly difficult circumstances. They were disturbed children through no fault of their own and they had the heartbreak of being taken from their homes and placed in a children’s home supposedly in the care of social services.

“In fact they were placed in an establishment which was a paradise for a paedophile like you.”

He added: “It is hard to imagine a more serious abuse of trust than that placed in a social worker responsible for children of this kind.”

During the six day trial, the victims – aged 12, 14 and 15 at the time of the abuse – said that Stack had been ‘cold, forbidding and cruel’.

Mr John McDermott, prosecuting, said that the offences came to light as part of a Merseyside police investigation into institutionalised child abuse.

The oldest victim claimed that another woman at the home had also been involved in three attacks on her.

Stack denied the allegations and said she did not know why they had fabricated the evidence. She told the court she was married for 13 years until 1983, had had a partner since then and was ‘definitely heterosexual’.

August 2000

Kenneth MacKreth, a former police officer was The former Liverpool care home manager was jailed for five years in 2000, at the age of 86, for a string of sex offences against teenage girls.

In August 2000 a Liverpool Crown Court jury found MacKreth guilty of 33 rape and sexual abuse charges against girls aged between 14 and 16, spanning four years from 1972.

Mackreth was superintendent at local authority care home Derwent House, in Derby Lane, Old Swan, for seven years, and was trusted to look after some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable teenage girls.

Girls who were either troubled or in trouble were sent to the home for assessment before being sent to another home or foster parents.

During the trial, the jury heard some of the attacks occurred in a padded detention cell.

When he was found guilty the jury was applauded by the victims, by then in their early 40s, who had attended court to face their abuser.

The case in 2000 was brought following Merseyside police’s Operation Care investigation into institutionalised child abuse.

He had faced similar abuse charges in 1977 but was cleared by a jury.

After the trial one of his victims spoke out about MacKreth’s evil and violent regime at the home, where every door was locked.

She told how he had knocked out one girl’s teeth out when he punched her in the face and described the detention cell, with padding on the wall and a low bed on the floor, where girls were locked up for two to three days at a time.

He died in 2006

Update – 2008

Carer falsely claimed thousands in benefits

A FORMER care worker swindled nearly £20,000 in benefits after being released from prison for sexually abusing girls.

Gail Stack was jailed for six years in 2000 after being convicted of a string of sex attacks on young girls.

She was released in 2004, but since then has falsely claimed thousands of pounds.

But Stack walked free from court yesterday after Judge Graham Morrow QC heard she had struggled to cope with life back in the community.

Liverpool crown court heard Stack, who continues to protest her innocence, is consumed by a “sense of injustice”.

Judge Morrow suspended a 26-week prison sentence for 18 months, ordered her to do 150 hours unpaid work and placed her under supervision for 18 months.

The 59-year-old, of Wellington Road, Oxton, Birkenhead, will also be electronically tagged for the next three months.

Ian Mercer, prosecuting, said Stack failed to tell the authorities about a monthly pension she received for her time working with social services.

For more than three years Stack, who admitted making three false statements, fraudulently claimed income support and job seekers’ allowance.

Stack’s barrister Mark Barlow told the court the fraud had been an “oversight” on her part.

He told how Stack had struggled to adjust to life out of prison.

Mr Barlow said: “She spent four years in custody for crimes that she continues to say never happened in the first place.”

Stack was jailed after a Liverpool jury took less than an hour to find her guilty of seven charges of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

The offences occurred between 1974 and 1978 while the three victims were resident at Derwent House, then an assessment centre, in Old Swan, Liverpool, and she was a supervisor.