A Brighton pensioner is due to appear in court charged with 12 counts of child sexual abuse, Sussex Police said this afternoon (Tuesday 2 January).
Retired children’s home owner John Webber, 77, of Clifton Hill, Brighton, faces seven counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency and three charges of buggery.
He is one of two men facing charges after an investigation by the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit into claims of abuse at the home.
Police believe that the pair sexually assaulted a number of boys aged from eight to 15 over a span of about nine years from 1974 to 1983.
The home – the privately run Old Rectory Children’s Home in Church Road, Singleton – has long since closed.
Sussex Police said: “Two men are due to appear in court to answer to a total of 26 charges of multiple sexual abuse of young boys at a children’s home in West Sussex between 35 and 44 years ago.
“John Michael Webber, 77, retired, of Clifton Hill, Brighton, and Don Grasty, 94, retired, of Beach Road, Selsey, have been summonsed to appear at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 6 February.
“The charges allege that they committed the offences at the long since closed privately run Old Rectory Children’s Home in Church Road, Singleton, against eight boys aged between nine and 15, between 1974 and 1983.
“Webber, who was owner of the home during the period of the alleged offences, faces 12 charges – seven of indecent assault, two of gross indecency and three of buggery – almost all involving multiple incidents, allegedly committed against five boys.
“Grasty, who was a manager at the home during the same period, faces 14 charges – 10 of indecent assault, three of gross indecency and one of buggery – again almost all involving multiple incidents, allegedly committed against five boys.
“Two of the boys are alleged to have been victims of both men.
“Police emphasise that the premises closed as a children’s home in the late 1980s and that any management or occupants of the address since that time have no connection whatsoever with this case.”