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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Denley

Medvale Child Abuse Survivors to Sue Kent County Council

Nine former residents of Medvale Children’s Home in Rochester are suing Kent County Council after suffering physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of convicted paedophile Peter Jaynes and his colleagues. 

 

Jaynes, who was employed as the officer in charge at the home in 1986, was an advocate of so-called ‘regression therapy’ which involved returning children to a state of infancy by giving them bottles and dressing them in nappies. 

 

One of the claimants, a female who was a resident at home from 1986 until 1988 between the ages of 14 and 16, said: “I remember having children’s stories read to me and being put to bed with a bottle, pacifier and teddy bear. 

 

“I hated it when Jaynes put me to bed as he would sit next to me on the pillow and instead of reading a story, he would tell me I was disgusting, a failure and would never amount to anything. His abusive comments were the last thing I would think about before I went to sleep; they still haunt me to this day. 

 

“On one occasion I was told to get undressed and when I refused the staff restrained me with such force that I thought they were going to kill me. I was so terrified I regularly used to wet myself.” 

 

Jaynes was suspended in 1990 after he was with charged with three criminal offences which occurred while he was deputy head of two children’s homes in Leicestershire during the 1970s.   

 

He was convicted at Leicester Crown Court in 1991 along with the notorious paedophile Frank Beck who was head of the homes at the time.  

 

Jaynes was sentenced to three years imprisonment for abusing a teenage boy and physically assaulting a girl in his care while Beck was sentenced to five life terms for sexual assaults against more than 100 children. 

 

Andrew Grove & Company Solicitors in Cambridgeshire, which is acting on behalf of the claimants, has started civil proceedings against Kent County Council which was responsible for the running of Medvale Children’s Home. 

 

Katherine Yates said the abuse inflicted on the former residents by Jaynes and other staff at the home was sickening.  

 

“Our clients were treated like babies: they were given milk to drink in bottles, baby food to eat, pacifiers to suck and children’s toys to play with,” she explained. 

 

“Every night they had to have a children’s bedtime story read to them by staff and in some cases sit on the staff members’ laps and cuddle with them, despite being teenagers. 

 

“Another disturbing aspect of this was that the staff used to goad and tease the children to deliberately make them angry (like a young child having a tantrum) so that they could ‘work through their emotions’.  

 

“Once they got angry, the staff would forcibly restrain the residents on the ground, sometimes for over an hour. 

 

“So far nine former residents have come forward but there are likely to be many more survivors and we encourage anyone else who either suffered abuse or has further information about Medvale or Peter Jaynes to come forward.” 

 

“It is not too late to join the civil claim, and as it’s being funded on a no win, no fee basis, it won’t cost you a penny up front.”  

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