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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 14:37 GMT
Payout to men abused in care home
Nine men abused in a children's home 40 years ago have received an out-of-court payout totalling more than 300,000.

The abuse took place at the council-run Green Field House in Maidenhead, Berkshire, between 1964 and 1970.

The home was then managed by the late Don Prescott, who is alleged to have abused the boys and rented them out to other paedophiles.

The civil settlement with Windsor and Maidenhead council came despite no criminal convictions over the case.

Alan Collins, the victim's solicitor, said Mr Prescott, a former soldier who died about 19 years ago, rented the boys out to paedophiles as far afield as Leicester, London, Cambridge and Reading.

It was the centre of a paedophile ring numbering so many men some of the boys lost count of those who abused them
Alan Collins

He described him as a violent man whose abuse ranged from humiliating the boys when they wet the bed to "the worst type of sexual abuse".

The boys were at the home because they were considered "maladjusted", with problems at school or home.

Their claim was to be heard at a civil trial at Winchester Crown Court on Monday, but the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead - the successor to Berkshire County Council, which ran the home - agreed the settlement.

Mr Collins said: "Unfortunately for the boys staying at Green Field House, it was the centre of a paedophile ring numbering so many men some of the boys lost count of those who abused them.

"They suffered the most horrendous abuse - it was the worst type of sexual abuse. They were filmed, photographed and had to take part in the abuse.

"What was surprising was that it went on for six years."

Lack of evidence

Mr Collins said Mr Prescott and his wife left the home abruptly in 1970 and, although police had been suspicious of what was going on, no charges were levelled against either him or other paedophiles at the time.

The allegations came to light in 2000 when one of the former boys, now in his 40s, suffered a nervous breakdown.

He went to Thames Valley Police, which immediately started an investigation.

One man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with sex abuse, but the case was dropped before trial due to a lack of evidence as only two men had come forward at that time.

Mr Collins said police advised them to seek a civil action and eventually nine men came forward and several others were willing to give evidence at the trial.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead confirmed the authority had reached an out-of-court settlement with the men over what happened to them at the home.

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