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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 17:37 GMT
Pensioner jailed for sex assaults
Keith Hammerton
Keith Hammerton was considered to be caring and supportive
A 69-year-old man has been jailed for six years after he admitted 10 counts of indecent assault on two teenage boys at a children's home in Surrey.

Keith Hammerton, from Battersea, south London, was a house warden at the home in Woking when the offences were committed between 1975 and 1981.

Hammerton also admitted common assault on another boy ahead of the Guildford Crown Court hearing on Tuesday.

All three victims were aged 16 or under, the court was told.

Surrey Police said Hammerton was in a position of trust at the Surrey County Council home, which has since closed.

Extremely vulnerable

Many of the residents had been in trouble with the law and had experienced difficulties at home.

Hammerton was considered to be a supportive, caring person.

But he spent time with the boys when he was off duty, allowed them to smoke and plied them with alcohol as part of the "grooming" process before the indecent assaults.

The allegations were first made in 1999 but police were unable to prosecute until further claims were made in 2004.

"Any allegation of indecent assault, no matter how historic, will be properly investigated," said Det Sgt Chris Goodman.

Hammerton also admitted failing to appear on court bail at a previous hearing.

Two further charges of indecent assault, one of serious sexual assault and one of perverting the course of justice were left on file.

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