Man stands trail for sexual abuse of children in Southampton care home
Colin Dennis Davis, of Lingfield, 75, appeared at Southampton Crown Court and stood accused of 49 counts of indecent assaults and other serious sexual offences. It is alleged Davis carried out the acts in the late 1970s and early 1980s, against 11 boys under the age of 18.
The charges relate to alleged offences at the former Salerno Road children’s home in Lordswood, Southampton, which closed in 2013.
Davis was accused of various sexual assault charges including buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency with a child that took place over a number of years.
During his opening speech, prosecutor Matthew Jewell told the court details of the alleged victims’ claims.
Mr Jewell said Davis was the home’s boss for a number of years and alleged during this time he abused his authority in order to abuse numerous children in his care.
The court heard one of the victims claimed he had been sexually assaulted in Davis’ bedroom after being left on his own at the home on Christmas Eve.
The man, who was 12 at the time, said he was made to feel “special” by Davis’ attention before the alleged incident took place.
The court was told the youngster had attempted to run away the next day.
Another alleged victim claimed he was molested on his first night at the home after visiting Davis in his room because he was upset.
The court heard that the alleged abuse took place at bath time and when Davis would check the boys’ bedrooms at night.
Mr Jewell told the jury the victim had claimed Davis sexually abused him on around seven occasions over two years.
Another victim claimed as an 11-year-old, he was made to perform sex acts on a man believed to be Davis on six or seven occasions.
Another man claimed Davis forced him into sex as a 14-year-old, either in the mornings before school or at night.
The court heard how the other children at the home could not hear his calls for help over the volume of the television downstairs.
Another victim said the day after arriving at the home, Davis went into his room in the morning and put his hand under his bed clothes.
The court heard Davis claimed to be checking to see if the 14-year-old had wet the bed before asking if he had been masturbating.
Another victim said Davis had told him he needed a medical assessment, but during the check, was sexually assaulted and forced into sex.
On a later occasion, it is claimed Davis told him he needed another assessment but to “not worry” as he would be “gentle this time”.
Another man said he was 14-years-old when Davis came into his room when he was off school sick. When Davis allegedly put his hand under the cover, the youngster told him to “**** off” and ran out the room.
Mr Jewell said another victim claimed he was sexually assaulted aged seven after getting into Davis’ bed because of a nightmare.
The last alleged victim involved did not live at the home and was the son of Davis’ friends.
The jury was told the 11-year-old had behaviour problems and a health problem which meant he soiled himself.
Mr Jewell said Davis had told the boy’s parents he could help, arranging for him to stay with him at weekends at a flat in Southampton. The victim claimed he was sexually assaulted and forced to perform sex acts on Davis for the next two years.
The court heard Davis had tried to have sex with the boy twice.
The jury was told Davis had a previous convictions for similar sexual abuse offence, for one involving an incident before he worked at the home and another involving a child at the home.
The trial continues.