Abuse of Trust

Frank Beck and the Leicestershire Children’s Home Scandal

Mark D'Arcy, Paul Gosling

For the first time in 18 years, the definitive account of one of Britain's worst child abuse scandals is re-published — with a new chapter looking at the role of the Labour MP Greville Janner.
Date Published :
August 2016
Publisher :
Canbury Press
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9780993040788
Pages : 288
Dimensions : 8.5 X 5.3 inches
Stock Status : In stock


'Few books have managed to get to the heart of a story of abuse as thoroughly and accurately as Abuse of Trust.' — CHRISTIAN WOLMAR, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR

'An important and in-depth analysis' — DR LIZ DAVIES, LONDON METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY, UK

For the first time in 18 years, the definitive account of one of Britain's worst child abuse scandals is re-published — with a new chapter looking at the role of the Labour MP Greville Janner.

Frank Beck sexually and physically abused more than 200 looked after children while working as a residential care home manager for Leicestershire County Council. This books shows how he got away with it, after gulling social workers and council managers.

Janner, a lawyer, backbencher and influential figure in Labour, repeatedly avoided prosecution for his involvement in the Leicestershire care scandal, despite being named as an abuser during the criminal case against Beck.

In an epilogue to this new, enlarged edition of this acclaimed book on the scandal, Paul Gosling deals with Janner's dominance of the local Labour Party, his influence within the wider parliamentary party and the failed police investigations into him.

Detectives carrying out the latest investigation into Janner are working on the theory that he abused children with Beck.

Abuse of Trust, first published in 1998, has long been viewed by social work professionals as an important audit of this case. Gosling and the BBC journalist Mark D'Arcy, his co-author, investigate how Beck and his cronies came to rampage through children's homes in Leicestershire for more than a decade.

Despite complaints from children, they continued their psychopathic reign of terror for 13 years, aided by — at best — incompetence at Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Police, and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Hundreds of children in the care of the local authority were damaged, and some tragically died.

One is suspected, now, of being murdered.

At the time Beck was brought to justice for the scandal, allegations that the local MP Greville Janner was also involved were roundly dismissed in the House of Commons, where Janner was supported by his fellow Leicestershire MPs.

About The Author

Mark D'arcy Is A Parliamentary Correspondent For The Bbc And Presents Booktalk On The Bbc Parliament Television Channel.

When Abuse Of Trust Was First Published He Was The Bbc's Local Government And Social Affairs Correspondent For The East Midlands, And A Former Political Commentator For The Leicester Mercury.

Paul Gosling Is An Experienced Journalist, Author, Researcher, Lecturer, And Broadcaster.

He Specialises In The Economy, Accountancy, The Co-Operative Sector, Public Services And Personal Finances.

A Freelance Journalist For 27 Years, He Has Written For Most Quality Uk And Irish National Newspapers.

He Is A Former Leicester City Councillor.


List of Characters



Beck the man and his career Page 19

The Poplars, Market Harborough 30

The Ratcliffe Road Adolescent Unit 37

The Beeches 55

Confusion at County Hall 72

The child care strategy 83

Regression therapy 95

A charmed life? 113

Living to fight another day... 138

Investigation and arrest 153

The trial 167

Official inquiry 183

The case for the defence 191

Scant compensation 201

Beck’s network of abusers 217

Those who did not survive 236

A better future? 251

Greville Janner 277




Today when the pendulum seems to swinging again to start disbelieving claims by survivors  that they were sexually abused the republication of a book examining one of the first major  child sex scandals is a timely reminder of what victims faced in the 1970s and 1980s.

Abuse of Trust looks at the case of the long dead Frank Beck, a charismatic social worker who got away with abusing possibly up to 200 children for two decades before finally being caught and convicted.

It is particularly relevant as Alexis Jay’s child sex abuse inquiry is planning to resurrect the dire situation in Leicestershire social services at the time with an examination of the role of the then local MP, Greville Janner, who was facing multiple charges of child sexual abuse at the time of his death last year.

The book written by two diligent journalists, Mark D’Arcy, a BBC Parliament correspondent and Paul Gosling, an ex Leicester councillor and an experienced freelance journalist, and has been updated by Paul with the latest information about the allegations and investigation into Greville Janner.

The involvement of Greville Janner – who always claimed he was falsely accused by the paedophile Frank Beck  of sexually abusing boys – will be highly  controversial as his family, led by his son, Daniel Janner,QC intend to try and stop the hearing going ahead. They want instead go to the civil courts so all  the allegations from 33 survivors against him can be subject to rigorous cross examination.

This book however concentrates on the horror facing  disturbed children sent to be looked after by Beck and his colleagues and the brutal techniques Beck, an ex Royal Marine, used to subdue, sexually abuse and infanticise teenagers, using faux psychological techniques. He also bullied and sexually abused his staff, manipulated and conned local councillors.

It is highly revealing about the lack of backbone among senior social work management and the failure of democratically elected councillors, particularly in the Liberal Party,who allowed him to stand as a councillor, to take a grip on the situation. The police are also seen as failing to believe the children. It is equally damning of  investigations that followed by distinguished people – notably by Andrew Kirkwood,QC – into the scandal after Beck was convicted and the tragic consequences of Beck’s techniques – which led one disturbed kid to later murder a young boy simulating  the strangulation technique used by Beck.

And it shows the role of insurance companies ,in this case Zurich Municipal, in trying to deny  the council’s responsibility for what happened to these kids -later to be used with similar force in suppressing a report into North Wales child sex abuse.

It is also clear from the book that Beck was not the only person sexually abusing people and  there could have been part of a ring that was never properly investigated. He may have murdered one of his boys – but this was never satisfactorily pursued.

He also like many paedophiles attracted people who believed in his innocence – notably Bernard Greaves, a Liberal Democrat  and Lord Longford  who supported killer Myra Hindley.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to remind themselves about sheer nastiness, brutality and cover ups that seem to dog this area.

- David Hencke, Abuse of Trust: A horrible reminder of a child sex scandal as the Jay inquiry prepares to examine Greville Janner

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