Fears of abuse by carer kept secret worker

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The Independent Online
Staff at a London children's home were too scared to speak out over their fears about paedophile careworker Mark Trotter, it was claimed last night.

Trotter, who died of Aids two weeks before police arrived to arrest him on sexual-abuse charges, was seen in young people's bedrooms at night and enticed youngsters with treats and alcohol, according to BBC2's First Sight.

An internal report by Hackney Borough Council showed that six former staff members at its Trowbridge House home admitted their concerns to the council's investigator.

The report also disclosed that one former resident, who claimed to have been sexually abused by Trotter, was "very aggrieved about the way the whole process was handled and that it was too late to do anything good about it". Labour activist Trotter died last year after working with children for 14 years in Liverpool and London. At least five allegations of inappropriate behaviour were made against him in that time, but none was substantiated during his lifetime.

Bur Liverpool police were on the brink of arresting him when he died, and Hackney council has been criticised over its handling of the affair. The internal inquiry was told by staff at Trowbridge House, now closed, that Trotter "would often be found in the young person's bedrooms after bedtimes and while off-duty".

Another staff member said he would take children from the Trowbridge estate home and they heard "cries coming from the individual's flat ... apparently emanating from young people in distress".

But it alleged staff were too afraid to speak out, fearing they would not be believed because of Trotter's standing in the council's political community. The internal report was compiled after a 10-month inquiry which the inspector said was hampered because "the individual was a popular member of staff" and "involved in local politics".