A man who received an MBE has been exposed as a child abuser who assaulted young children at a care home.
Paedophile Trevor Francis was given his medal by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in 2012 for his 20 years’ work as station master in his home town of Aberdour, Fife in Scotland, as his abuse went undetected.
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Francis 71, will be sentenced this month after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing children in his care during the 1970’s at St Margaret’s children’s home in Elie.
He took over management of the children’s home from another paedophile David Murphy and promised that his new regime would protect the vulnerable kids there.
Two years after he was honoured with the MBE one of his victims came forward to police and exposed the abuse she suffered in his care.
The Mail Online reports:
Francis’s name came up during the probe into Murphy in the late 90s.
But it was only when one brave victim came forward in 2014 that police were able to build a case against him.
They proactively visited former residents of the home who told their stories of abuse at his hands.
Now Francis has been warned he faces a jail term when he returns to Dundee Sheriff Court to be sentenced next month.
Three girls – aged 14 to 16 at the time- told a jury that Francis would creep into the girls’ dormitory at the home in the night and sexually assault them.
One told how he touched her on the chest under her bedsheets while another said he had touched her genitals under her covers.
A male resident at the home told how he had once run away and got as far as Kirkcaldy where he was picked up by police and taken back.
Francis took him into a laundry room and attacked him as punishment.
Other victims told how Francis slapped them in the face and beat them with a slipper in violent rages.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told the jury: ‘He is a manipulative, violent and predatory person who abused the trust of these vulnerable people who he was paid to protect.
‘But instead he perpetrated physical and sexual abuse towards them and managed to stay undetected because of his Jekyll and Hyde personality.
‘The accused might seem mild mannered – an upstanding citizen, a family man.
‘His wife was at pains to tell you that her Trevor would never have acted like that.
‘We are dealing with an intelligent, manipulative man who can turn on and off that predatory, violent behaviour.’
Giving evidence in his own defence Francis said he was ‘relatively easy going’ and claimed to have had a good relationship with the kids at the home.
In a bizarre exchange he said: ‘Come hell or high water they wanted me to watch Top of The Pops with them every week.
‘It helped me relate to the kids and know about acts like Gary Glitter at the time.
‘I suppose that’s the wrong name to use today though.’
He added: ‘Not in any situation would I have dreamd of doing what I’m accused of doing.
‘It is totally inappropriate and totally wrong.
‘But they say I did it.’
Francis, 71, of Manse Street, Aberdour, Fife, denied a total of nine charges on indictment.
However, a jury of eight men and seven women took two and a half hours to find him guilty by majority of two offences of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards young girls and three assaults.
One further lewd and libidinous charge and three assaults were found not proven.
Defence solicitor Kerr Sneddon asked that Francis be released on bail ahead of sentencing.
Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and released Francis on bail meantime.
He said: ‘A prison sentence is a serious possibility.’
Francis was given the MBE in 2012 for his services to the community in Aberdour, Fife, where he was station master for more than 20 years.
As well as manning the ticket office in the village he spent up to six hours a day maintaining floral displays at the station, winning awards for his work.
He had taken over at St Margaret’s from prolific paedophile David Murphy, who died in jail in 2001 after being jailed for a 30-year campaign of sexual and physical abuse at various homes.
Children in his care were subjected to an appalling regime of abuse. Some were forced to stand naked for hours, girls were spanked on their bare bottoms, boys were forced to shovel coal in their pyjamas. One practice, known as ‘shakey wakey’, involved boys being dragged from assembly and their heads slammed against walls.
Social workers, police and council officials to prevent Murphy from working with children again after the first allegations surfaced in the early 1970s.
Even when he was removed from one home he was allowed to continue looking after children as officials did not want to get involved.