Goddard Inquiry: Children were abused ‘on industrial scale’

“Physical and sexual abuse on an industrial scale” went “unchecked for decades” at children’s homes in a south London borough, a victims’ report says.

The report detailing claims by 600 people will go before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

At a preliminary hearing earlier, the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association was given “core participant status”.

Its leader Raymond Stevenson said child abuse in the Lambeth Council-run homes had been a “reversal to the dark ages”.

The abuse had resulted in the “shedding of thousands of tears”, he said, and called it a “shame on the establishment” and “institutionalised evil”.

The Shirley Oaks survivors accused the police of failing to deal with the allegations adequately, resulting in a cover up.

‘Complex investigation’

It is alleged two convicted children’s homes abusers were volunteer police officers.

The group said it might request several barristers and solicitors to reflect the number of complainants it was representing, the High Court heard.

It plans to make a formal presentation to the wide-ranging inquiry chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard, along with providing video evidence from members.

The counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson QC, told the hearing, at Royal Courts of Justice, the investigation would be “extremely complex… spanning many years and many institutions in Lambeth”.

It is one of 13 initial inquiries announced, including investigations into abuse within the Church, allegations against the late peer Lord Janner, abuse at children’s homes in Rochdale and claims of a Westminster paedophile ring.