VILE: Social worker who raped girl at Blackpool children's home jailed

Raymond Griffin
Raymond Griffin

A residential social worker who raped a teenage girl in a Blackpool children's home has been brought to justice more than 20 years after his vile crimes.

Raymond Griffin, 59, of Brisbane Place, Anchorsholme, launched degrading attacks on a girl - who was in care because her father sexually abused her.

He is beginning a 19 year jail sentence today after a majority jury found him guilty of three counts of rape and seven of indecent assault at a trial in July.

Judge Robert Altham said: "It is right to say this behaviour constituted a campaign of serious sexual abuse by a person who was supposed to be taking care of someone who had already been sexually abused.

"It is difficult to imagine a more serious breach of trust than a person professionally charged with the duty of looking after someone already damaged by sexual abuse to then go on and abuse that person."

Preston Crown Court heard the attacks date back to the 1990s.

Prosecuting, Richard Haworth told how the offences began shortly after the girl arrived into care, when Griffin touched himself inappropriately in front of her.

She was then assaulted in the shower room, called a "slut" and told she "needed to practice".

He also attacked her in the smoking room and her bedroom, where he told her to "stop crying".

She was abused on the sand dunes near Pontins and the grounds of disused Singleton Hall on a group trip from the home.

After one rape, which left her injured, Griffin told her: "You know you love it, I was doing you a favour."

One morning, she was attacked in the lounge in her nightie and when she was sick, Griffin pushed her face into the vomit in anger.

The girl contacted Childline from a phone box reporting she had ran away from her care home due to the abuse, and threatened to jump under a train if forced to go back.

But she returned to the home and the abuse escalated.

Police were able to trace the records when she bravely came forward in 2010, when Lancashire Police launched a probe.

Prosecuting, Mr Haworth said: "It came to an end only when she moved away from the children's home.

He added there was "degradation and humiliation" to the victim, who was particularly vulnerable due to her personal circumstances, and an abuse of trust.

Defending, Janet Ironfield said Griffin suffered Crohn's disease, and ME.

She added: "Since leaving school at 16 he had a variety of jobs and occupations until he commenced work in the care sector in 1991 for those with physical or learning difficulties.

"He left the care sector after three years at the home at the onset of his illness and then worked with the youth offending team until his retirement .

"This was a period of six months against a single victim. There is no evidence of any offending prior to that date or since the period covered by the indictment and no other complaints have been brought forward.

"Police did make extensive inquiries chasing former residents. He was of previous good character before the offences."

She described Griffin's charitable work with the unemployed, elderly, disabled children and terminally ill people in a hospice, and said he had engaged in charity walks raising money for various good causes."

Griffin has held a number of positions working with children and vulnerable adults - though the court was told police had spoken to around 30 former residents of the home and no other complaints had been made.

The case was investigated by Lancashire Constabulary’s Operation Fervent team, a unit set up by the Constabulary in January 2015 to investigate Historical Child sexual
abuse.

The team’s Dave Groombridge said: “We welcome the sentence today which reflects the gravity of these offences.

“Raymond Griffin abused his position to target and prey on a vulnerable victim to satisfy his own depraved sexual desires. The impact of these crimes on the victim
cannot be overstated.

“All credit must be given to the victim who was brave enough to report the offences against her and carry it through to a trial where Griffin forced them to re-live their
ordeal by denying all the allegations against him.

“Lancashire Constabulary remains committed to investigating offences of this nature, no matter how historic, and no matter what the role, position and status of the
alleged offender, and we would encourage anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence to come forward safe in the knowledge that they will be treated sensitively and professionally.”

Amanda Hatton, Lancashire County Council's director of children's services, said: "We're very sorry for what this young woman went through and the sentence received by the perpetrator reflects the horrific nature of the crimes committed against her.

"This happened over 20 years ago and since then, we have significantly improved our safeguarding procedures to avoid such terrible incidents happening again."