53 year old Dean Gathercole was convicted of abusing young girls at Amberdale care home in May this year following investigation by officers from Nottinghamshire police’s Operation Equinox. Gathercole received a 19 year custodial sentence He appealed against his sentence and this was reduced to 17 years on the 18th October.

Gathercole was employed by Nottinghamshire county council between 1983 to 1989 as a residential social care home worker at Amberdale where he carried out the sexual assaults on girls in his care aged 15 and 16. Upon leaving Amberdale he continued to work for the council with children despite various allegations being brought against him throughout his career including his arrest 1987 over allegations of inappropriate behaviour. In 1997 he was eventually dismissed due to loss of child case files, inappropriate behaviour, and financial irregularities.

Amberdale Care Home in Stapleforth opened in 1982. It was initially a 22 bed secure unit which later had another 8 bed unit added. It was surrounded by a loft perimeter wall and with secure doors and windows. It was for young people with a history of getting into trouble with the law absconding from other homes. It closed in 1995-1996 and reopened in 1997 as Clayfields House Secure Unit which is still open.

Operation Equinox is Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated team investigating allegations of historical abuse of children at children’s homes and other institutions in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. At present there are 22 children’s homes being investigated by Nottinghamshire Police over abuse allegations. Only 3 of the homes are still in use today.

The news about Gathercole’s appeal has come at the same time as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse are holding hearings to consider the scale of the of the abuse by children in care and foster placements within Nottingham and the actions of the city and county councils to reports of abuse.

Jordans Solicitors represent victims who suffered abuse at the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Children’s Homes including Amberdale.

If you would like help in pursuing a claim please contact us free on 0330 300 1103 or request a call back. We have a highly specialist team of lawyers who can ensure that your claim is handled sensitively, enabling you to secure the best level of compensation from those responsible for your traumatic experience.


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