A woman who says she was sexually abused by her uncle as a youngster has joined the fight for justice after she confirmed that he had worked at the controversial borstal at Skegby Hall.
The terrified victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons but we will refer to as Jane, had kept her horrific ordeal to herself for most of her life.
However she was devastated when she discovered that the former home was under investigation, knowing that her relative used to work there.
Skegby Hall is one of a several homes under the spotlight by Nottinghamshire Police’s Operation Daybreak, which is looking into allegations of abuse stretching back to the 1960s.
And having contacted leading campaigner and former Forest Town man, Mickey Summers, he has told Jane that at least four separate abuse victims from Skegby Hall have stepped forward and named her uncle as a key perpetrator.
Jane said: “I’ve been watching what Mickey’s been doing for about a year, and I did wonder about Skegby Hall.
“Then I saw one of Mickey’s protests and he read out Skegby Hall, and just thought ‘Oh my God’.
“I would have taken what happened to me to my grave just to protect my aunty, but now I know there are other victims.
“I kept it hidden what he did to me, but I never thought he had abused others, especially boys.”
Jane grew up living with her sister and mother and visited her aunty and uncle at weekends.
She said her uncle, who also cannot be named for legal reasons at this stage, abused her until the age of 11 before he moved to Nottinghamshire.
It was only years later that she found out that he had also abused her sister.
Jane, who is now in her 50s, says she has struggled with the guilt of her ordeal, which led to her suffering a breakdown in her 30s.
Then she was forced to live with her aunty and uncle after her release from hospital, and recalled him even bringing boys back to their house from the borstal at weekends.
“I never thought for a minute that he was abusing boys.
“I felt like I had to protect my aunty for what he had done to me and my sister.”
She is now determined to help bring her uncle to justice.
“It’s not just about me anymore,” she said.
“I feel like I need to say sorry to these people. I want justice for them.”
Mickey Summers, who launched his own fight for justice after he was sexually abused as a youngster in care, was grateful to Jane for stepping forward.
He said: “We spent about five hours talking about it, it was an emotional roller coaster.
“The more people we can get coming forward, the stronger the case we can build. We are not going to go away.”
Meanwhile, Bassetlaw MP John Mann has spoken out about the historic care-home abuse in Nottinghamshire, and backed Jane’s plight.
“I have given police direct information about abuse at Skegby Hall and the victim has been helping the police for several weeks.
“I have no doubt as to the truth behind her allegations.
“For witnesses to come forward is incredibly important and I thank them for their integrity in doing so.
“Anyone with precise suspicions or evidence should come forward as it is vital for the victims that justice is done.
“Anyone who speaks to me has an absolute guarantee that their identity will never be revealed without their express agreement and that they will control all matters including any referral to the police.”
Mr Mann has also called for an independent inquiry into the abuse, which he says has become more urgent given the recent damning report into abuse in Rotherham.
He added: “The inquiry into child abuse in Rotherham has revealed the complete failure of the police, social services and politicians to protect children.”
“We now need an inquiry in Nottinghamshire based on the Rotherham model.”
“Survivors of abuse should be put at the heart of the Inquiry and sufficient resources put in place to ensure that they can achieve justice.
“There should be no doubting the urgency of this inquiry. If the proper support is not provided lives will be lost.”