Police boss welcomes first charges in child sex abuse probe

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Police commissioner Paddy Tipping hopes the first charges brought against a suspected paedophile over abuse at Nottinghamshire care homes will encourage more survivors to step forward.

Christopher Metcalfe, 68, of Cross Lane, Blidworth is facing seven charges including rape and indecent assault relating to Skegby Hall dating back to the 1980s.

He is the first to be brought to court as part of Operation Xeres - Nottinghamshire Police’s investigation into abuse at council-run care homes for children dating back 50 years.

Mr Tipping said: “When a case gets to court we often see other victims gaining the confidence to come forward, and this is a good thing.

“The force is keen to hear from anyone who was abused whilst in Nottinghamshire’s care facilities, however long ago the incident took place, and there are many support groups who can help guide people through the whole process if they are nervous or worried.

“But it’s really important that those affected do report what happened to them.

“I know that the police will take every report seriously and treat people with sensitivity. Victims deserve to have their voice heard and I assure them that we will listen.”

Metcalfe appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for a short hearing, where he faced seven allegations including three counts of rape of a female under 16, three counts of indecent assault of a girl under 14 and buggery of a woman.

All charges relate to two females between 1982 and 1987, but his solicitor indicated that he would be denying all charges.

He was bailed to appear at Derby Crown Court on December 7, where he facing two more allegations of indecent assault dating back to 1979.

There were angry scenes outside Mansfield Magistrates’ Court where he was confronted by protestors as he left. Metcalfe flicked ‘V’ signs at the protestors, and at one point a woman with Metcalfe became embroiled in angry confrontation with one protestor.