September 2019

Convicted child rapist finally punished for vile crimes at children’s home

John Laister

A man already locked up for depraved child abuse has been given a further 11 years for assaulting young girls in a children’s home.

John William Laister, 77, preyed on two of his victims between 1968 and 1979 at the former May Lodge Children’s Home in Scarborough.

Laister targeted another young victim while teaching at the church’s Sunday school in West Yorkshire.

His offences included multiple counts of gross indecency and indecent assault, and two counts of rape on one of the victims.

Laister was sentenced at York Crown Court on Tuesday September 3.

He was already serving a 14-year prison sentence for rape, indecent assault and indecency against two girls aged under 16 in the Bradford area which were reported in 2014.

He committed those offences while working as a “house parent” at another children’s home in the 1970s.

North Yorkshire Police launched an extensive inquiry into Laister in 2014.

Detectives also identified two other offenders who worked as live-in carers at May Lodge during this period, Maurice Berry, 64, from North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, and Ray Vasey, 72, from Darlington, who were sentenced to 13 and 17 years’ imprisonment respectively in June and July this year.

They sexually abused three young girls each.

September 2014

‘Monstrous child sexual predator’ jailed

An ex-Sunday school teacher who raped and sexually abused young girls under his care has been jailed for 14 years.

John Laister was convicted at Bradford Crown Court of three counts of rape, four counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child.

Some of the offences were committed more than 40 years ago when he worked at a children’s care home in Bramhope, Leeds, and at a church in Bradford.

Judge Benson said Laister was “a sexual predator of monstrous proportions”.

Laister, 72, of Sunningwell, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, previously admitted four counts of indecent assault and will be added to the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.

He was a former “house parent” at the now-closed Hilton Grange home when he raped a vulnerable girl under his care.

After being moved on following allegations against him, he continued to abuse young girls while acting as a Sunday school teacher at the Thorpe Edge Evangelical Church.

The court heard one of the victims, who was raped and abused at the home, had suffered an epileptic fit after giving evidence via a videolink.

The judge said “the main object of his loathsome activities” was a victim who found the courage to come forward in 2012.

Det Con Naomi Brown, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Laister took advantage of his victims’ young ages and vulnerabilities to carry out these attacks over a period of time.

“We would like to thank them for reporting these offences to the police, and we hope that the lengthy sentence passed down today will help to give them some closure.”