Cases of child abuse have been found in archived files from the 1960s at Donington Hall in Leicestershire. At the time it was a home that cared for children of stateless families after the war.
Documents show that two refugee boys, aged 11 and 14, were abused by Peter John Moor, who had been a housemaster there but was employed for only a few weeks. He appeared in court in Leicestershire in June 1965 and was found guilty of two offences against the boys.
The Ockenden Venture had been set up some years before to cater for the children of stateless families – many still living in camps years after the war ended. The two boys identities are protected – but they would most likely have been Polish or from the Baltic states.
Officials at the time said it was a disturbing case but ‘little could be done’. Moor managed to avoid a Home Office register of those unsuitable to work with children by changing his name whenever he worked somewhere new.
It also emerged Moor resigned from two previous teaching jobs and had a long string of convictions for buggery, theft and indecent assault. He had first been convicted at the age of 15, in 1923, for “assault on a male”. In 1957 he had been sentenced to eight years in prison for a sexual assault on a 15-year-old boy.
In response the home issued a statement saying: “Ockenden is shocked and appalled by the allegations of child abuse…The Housemaster was suspended and ultimately, convicted and imprisoned. It subsequently transpired that the housemaster had obtained his position at Donington Hall by disguising his true identity and his former convictions.”