August 2019

Childrens home worker and football coach jailed

A dad told last night of his horrific abuse at the hands of ‘Manchester United’ molester Bruce McLean who has been jailed for 15 years for abusing children as young as seven.

The ex-children’s home resident spoke out for the first time of living in a ‘paedophile’s paradise’ after his abuser was finally brought to justice.

Former fireman McLean was previously found guilty at Chester Crown Court of 27 child sex offences against six boys -some as young as seven – in two separate trials.

The 63-year-old from Moore near Runcorn abused his victims between 1975 and 1991.

McLean worked at multiple children’s homes as a residential officer including Kilrie in Knutsford, Cheshire and Taxal Edge in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire and a care home in Lymm, Cheshire.

He used his connections at Manchester United to groom his victims and later ‘buy their silence’ when he abused them in their rooms.

A leading child abuse lawyer has branded him ‘cold and calculating’.

McLean was told he had to serve half his fifteen year sentence before being released on licence.

He was also placed on the Sexual offenders register for life.

Judge Patrick Thompson branded him an arrogant ‘sexual predator’

He blasted: “You treated these boys as your sexual playthings. You were young and friendly and groomed these boys with trips to Manchester United and furnished them with adidas clothing to make them compliant. If that didn’t work you would threaten them. this was the actions of a sexual predator.

“I can’t imagine a greater breach of trust of a person who was in a position of such responsibility. Your only concern being your own sexual gratification.”

He said McLean – whose role was to care for vulnerable children – showed a ‘complete lack of remorse’ to any of his victims.

He said many boys had come from broken homes and were left ‘bewildered. and in ‘need of care and kindness’ which McLean used took advantage of.

He added: “You stole their childhood, their innocence and by refusing to accept responsibility and forcing them to relive what you had done you finally stole their dignity. IT is clear you have no compassion or remorse for the damage you have caused. “

McLean was told he will also face four more charges in a separate trial next year.

McLean worked at multiple children’s homes as a residential officer including Kilrie in Knutsford, Cheshire and Taxal Edge in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire.

The court previously heard Mclean knew players at Manchester United, including club legend goalkeeper Gary Bailey, and would take children from Kilrie to training sessions at The Cliff ground.

Mclean said Mr Bailey had come up with the idea to visit the home, along with other footballers, as a way to stop the children getting bullied at school but then McLean used this as a gateway to abuse.

He would shower the boys with free sportswear and trips to training games and then molest them afterwards.

Incredibly, in one home Taxal Edge – where Mclean previously worked, paedophile soccer coach Barry Bennell later also became a care worker and went on to abuse more victims.

Both sick perverts used their connections at Manchester United as part of their grooming process.

Now the dad-of-three who was abused by McLean during his two years at a children’s home in the late 1970’s has bravely decided to speak out about his ordeal.

After a near four decade wait for justice he is now taking legal action over his ordeal.

The victim – whose evidence in court helped to jail McLean – was sent to the Taxal Edge home as a nine-year-old boy after getting into trouble at his primary school.

He says the home was ruled with an iron fist and the ‘constant threat of violence’ and if he tried to escape he was always brought back by the police.

He says this allowed McLean and other care home staff to abuse victims with impunity.

The victim – who lives in Cheshire and wishes to remain anonymous – blasted: “It was horrendous, a very scary place to be as a child and there was no escape. They could abuse you and do what they wanted with impunity. 
“It’s disgraceful that sort of thing went unchecked. We were just kids. These people were not only in charge of children and using them as sex objects but they were also getting paid for it.

“There was no way that those responsible for running the home didn’t know what was going on. I have to live with the effects of his abuse for the rest of my life, but hopefully now this sentence will give me and other victims some sort of closure.”

He told how McLean would abuse him while pretending to restrain him in front of other boys.

He said: “It was the perfect cover. He would restrain me for no reason.

“Then he would start groping my testicles. I would start resisting and shouting and this would excite him and give him the justification he needed to restrain me further and grope me more.

“I had no chance as a nine-year-old against a grown man. We were just kids – it’s disgusting.”

The victim, now in his fifties , used to live in a dorm with other boys and was also attacked by another worker who used to prowl the rooms at night in white underpants.

The victim added: “They used to come into the rooms at night, always night time.”

He also told how McLean would wake him in the middle of the night and lock him and another pupil in the gym while they abused other pupils.

He said: “It was a regular occurrence, a few times a month. We used to be in there for hours. me and my pal were a bit streetwise so they were locking us in so they could abuse the more vulnerable kids.”

The abuse had a profound effect on most of his life and he has been plagued by drug addiction and prison and has battled with flashbacks and depression.

He said: “I have night terrors and sweats and it has affected all my relationships.”

But he says now he has turned his life around to become a health worker.

McLean was jailed in 1997 for nine years for sexual abuse on boys while working at Cheshire based care home Kilrie.

At the time of his arrest he was also a helper at Cheshire- based children’s charity the Adventure Farm Trust – a holiday haven for sick, disabled and disadvantage children.

It was backed by celebrities including singer Phil Collins, actor Sir Michael Caine, former England football legend Bryan Robson and ex-England cricket captain Michael Atherton.

In January last year ex-fireman McLean was charged again after more ex-care home pupils contacted the police to say they were victims of historic sexual abuse.

He was originally investigated in 2013 but his case we opened again in 2015 when even more victims came forward.

He was accused of abuse at Taxal Edge children’s home in Derbyshire and Kilrie children’s home in Knutsford, Cheshire.

McLean, of Runcorn, Cheshire was later found guilty of 19 charges of indecent assault, attempted buggery and buggery charges against boys aged between 7-14 between 1974-1991 in a trial in November 2018.

Another trial on 12 further charges in July this year led to 8 more guilty verdicts.

He was found not guilty on four charges.

During his trials it emerged he told one boy the abuse was ‘better than what would happen to him at the hands of his stepfather.”

He also bragged of ‘burying a boy’ in the grounds of a large house in Nantwich to keep one of his victims quiet after he had abused him.

Peter Garsden Head of Abuse at Simpson Millar solicitors – branded the paedophile ‘cold and callous’ and urged other victims to come forward.

He has already successfully sued authorities over McLean in the past for abuse gaining victims over £100,000 in compensation and is now representing more victims.

He said: “This is one of the most prolific offenders I have dealt with. He ruled the care homes he worked in by fear and abused with impunity for years.

“He is a cold, callous and calculating individual who knew just what to do to target vulnerable boys.

“There appears to have been plenty of opportunities that seem to have been missed that allowed him to carry on abusing boys in his care.

“We will be lodging legal claims on behalf of victims with the relevant authorities over the next few months.

“In my experience, in situations like this, I estimate there will be at least another hundred affected victims who are yet to speak out and many of these will be in the Cheshire area. But now they can come forward knowing they are not alone.

“Despite Mclean being jailed today this is not the end for the victims as they continue to suffer a life sentence. But hopefully it will bring a small sense of closure.”

Bruce McLean guilty of 8 more sex offences on vulnerable boys

A childrens care home worker has been found guilty of eight more historic sex offences on vulnerable young boys who trusted him.

Bruce McLean, of Runcorn Road, Moore, denied 33 offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery against eight boys aged seven to 14 between 1974 and 1991.

But following a four-week trial at Chester Crown Court in November, the jury found the 62-year-old guilty of 19 counts of indecent assault against three boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The original jury failed to reach a verdict on 14 further counts made by the other alleged victims after deliberating on the evidence.

A jury in the retrial, which has been taking place at Chester Crown Court for two weeks, found McLean guilty of eight offences and not guilty of four yesterday, Thursday.

The alleged abuse happened when McLean worked at the Taxal Edge Children’s Home in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, from 1975 to 1978 and then at Kilrie Children’s Home in Knutsford from 1979.

During the trial in November, a jury heard that McLean used his connections at Manchester United to groom his victims throughout his time working at both care homes.

McLean was previously convicted of 10 counts of indecent assault in 1997 following an investigation into Kilrie Children’s Home.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

During that trial, McLean maintained he was innocent of the 10 offences he was later convicted of in more than two decades ago.

Lawyers acting on behalf of one of the victims who was subjected to horrific abuse by the former care worker in the 70s are taking legal action against those responsible for his care.

Legal action will be taken against Cheshire East County Council and The Together Trust – formerly The Boys and Girls Welfare Society.

Specialist abuse law expert Peter Garsden, from Simpson Millar Solicitors, said: “This is just the tip of the iceberg.

“This care worker repeatedly targeted the most vulnerable. He ruled with impunity for nearly three decades. With the amount of ex pupils who gave evidence against him shows how prolific an offender he actually was.

“Many of the victims are now in their fifties with families of their own and have been living with this guilty secret all their lives.

“But now that there has been justice in court they can start planning their future with some closure. And for others there is a chance to take action for what he has done to them. It is time to stop suffering in silence.

“If anyone else knows anything about the case or was at either of the homes, I am appealing for them to come forward.

McLean will be sentenced in September.

November 2018

Pervert GUILTY of sex offences on vulnerable young boys

A children’s care home worker has been found guilty of a string of historic sex offences on vulnerable young boys who trusted him.

Bruce McLean, of Runcorn Road, Moore, denied 33 offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery against eight boys aged seven to 14 between 1974 and 1991.

But following a four-week trial at Chester Crown Court, the jury found the 62-year-old guilty of 19 counts of indecent assault against three boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on 14 further counts made by the other alleged victims after deliberating on the evidence since Tuesday.

The Crown Prosecution Service is now considering whether a retrial will go ahead.

A hearing will take place at Chester Crown Court next Thursday where a decision will be made.

The alleged abuse happened when McLean worked at the Taxal Edge Children’s Home in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, from 1975 to 1978 and then at Kilrie Children’s Home in Knutsford, Cheshire, from 1979.

During the trial, a jury heard that McLean used his connections at Manchester United to groom his victims throughout his time working at both care homes.

McLean was previously convicted of 10 counts of indecent assault in 1997 following an investigation into Kilrie Children’s Home.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

During that trial, McLean maintained he was innocent of the 10 offences he was later convicted of in more than two decades ago.

Lawyers acting on behalf of one of the victims who was subjected to horrific abuse by the former care worker in the 70s will launch legal action against those responsible for his care, it was confirmed today.

Legal action will be taken against Cheshire East County Council and The Together Trust. – formerly The Boys and Girls Welfare Society,