Former care worker Bruce McLean, 62, has been jailed at Chester Crown Court this week for 15 years after being found guilty of 27 indecent assault sex charges against schoolboys in two separate trials. The charges relate to abuse of more than twenty young boys aged from seven, between 1975 and 1991. McLean must serve half his sentence before being released on licence and is placed on the sex offenders register for life.

The alleged abuse took place at two care homes, Taxal Edge children’s home in Derbyshire from 1975-1978, and Kilrie children’s home in Knutsford, Cheshire from 1980-1991.

McLean was previously convicted of 10 counts of indecent assault in 1997 following an investigation into Kilrie Children’s Home. He was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1997.

McLean worked as a residential officer at various children’s homes. McLean used his connections with Manchester United as he had close connections with goalkeeper Gary Bailey. He went onto groom his victims and abused them. McLean would take the boys from Kilrie to training sessions at the ground. He would give the victims free sportswear and take them on free trips to the training ground before he started to abuse them. The court heard how McLean “roamed the corridors of the Whaley Bridge children’s home Taxal Edge at night – picking out his victims for horrific abuse.”

Barry Bennell, the convicted football coach for child abuse, also worked at Taxal Edge as a care worker and abused boys. Both Bennell and McLean used their connections with Manchester United to groom their victims, then went on to later abuse them.

Following Kilrie, McLean helped found the Adventure Farm Trust in Cheshire. The charity transformed a derelict farm into a holiday home for disabled and disadvantaged children. McLean was suspended in 1995 after the charity were told of the police investigation into the allegations of child abuse. In 1997 he was convicted of 10 counts of indecent assault in 1997 following an investigation into Kilrie Children’s Home, and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Sentencing, Judge Patrick Thompson said: “You treated these boys as your sexual playthings. You were young and friendly and groomed these boys with trips to Manchester United and furnished them with Adidas clothing to make them compliant. If that didn’t work you would threaten them. These were the actions of a sexual predator. You stole their childhood, their innocence and by refusing to accept responsibility and forcing them to relive what you had done, you finally stole their dignity.”


If you have been affected by child abuse and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted on 0800 9555 094.

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