Retired school caretaker jailed for abusing boys

Lauren Turner,Press Association
Saturday 15 January 2011 11:56

A retired school caretaker and football coach who sexually abused young boys for 35 years was starting an indefinite prison sentence today.

David Berry, who faces a minimum of nine years in jail, raped five of the children, the youngest of whom was eight, on a "repeated" basis, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said.

Berry, 70, who worked as a football coach and befriended some of his victims' families, started the abuse in 1975, and continued until weeks before his arrest in April 2010.

Police, who described Berry as a "sexual predator", found videos and pictures of him abusing young boys when they searched his home on Jubilee Road, Greenford, Middlesex.

Berry, who worked at Dormers Well High School in Southall, Middlesex, was said to prey on especially vulnerable victims including one boy with learning difficulties, giving the boys cash and gifts as a "reward".

He plied some of them with alcohol before committing the abuse, later claiming that the sexual activity was mutual.

Berry groomed and abused the boys from a young age, continuing until they were 17 years old, at which stage he would target another younger child, the police force said.

Detective Constable Sufia Matin from the MPS child abuse command said: "Berry was a sexual predator who groomed young boys from a position of trust, often meeting his victims through family friends, or as their football coach or school caretaker.

"He has shown no remorse throughout this investigation, often appearing delusional that he was having a relationship with these young boys."

She said she hoped the victims, now aged between 13 and 50 years old, could now start to recover from their "traumatic ordeals".

Speaking after the sentencing, the mother of one of Berry's victims said of the time she learned of the abuse: "I was so shocked and sad for him. It explained his behaviour in the past - his drinking and temper."

Berry admitted a total of 22 counts of serious sexual abuse, including the repeated rapes, last November and was given an indeterminate sentence at Isleworth Crown Court, Middlesex, yesterday.

The pensioner, who also admitted taking indecent photographs and videos, will serve a minimum of nine years in prison.