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The BBC's Wyre Davies
"Some boys were stripped and caned"
 real 28k

Monday, 22 November, 1999, 17:20 GMT
Ex-headteacher jailed for sex abuse
Judge attacks lack of control and supervision at residential home

A suspended Welsh Office social services inspector has been jailed for a total of 14 years for a string of offences of physical and sexual abuse.

Derek Brushett, was convicted at Cardiff Crown Court of 27 charges including two serious sexual offences while headmaster of the now closed Bryn Y Don Residential Home for Boys in Dinas Powys.

Brushett "betrayed" his victims
The offences involve 17 victims who were aged between 11 and 16.

Brushett , 55, of Stacey Road, Dinas Powys, near Cardiff, had already been convicted of 17 charges of indecent assault, two of actual bodily harm and five of child cruelty against a total of 16 victims.

At the end of trial, which lasted nearly two months, Judge Peter Jacobs launched a stinging attack on the lack of supervision and control at a residential home in south Wales which allowed Brushett to abuse boys in his care.

He said Brushett had betrayed his victims and the care system, designed to protect them.

All that, he added, went on went unchecked and there was no true accountability.

The "laissez faire" attitude was well illustrated by the way records were kept and were then allowed to go missing.

"I hope the truth will come out because it has not."
Derek Brushett

The judge also wanted to know why two young boys of seven and eight were placed at the home, which was totally unsuitable for children so young.

One of Brushett's victims, who is now 37 and living in Bristol, told the BBC how he was caned on his bare backside after fighting with another boy.

"You wouldn't treat a dog the way I was treated," he said.

As he was lead from the dock Brushett said: "I have great respect for the court. I hope that the truth will come out because it has not."

'Benefit of hindsight'

In a letter to friends and family, handed out to journalists after the trial, Brushett maintained his innocence.

"During my time at at Bryn-y-Don I made mistakes, certainly. I was a relatively inexperienced manager at the time," he said.

"I know, with the benefit of hindsight, that my desire to help individual children rendered me open to allegations being made some 20 years later.

"But I did not do the things which are alleged by the complainants. I have never knowingly been cruel to any children," he added.

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See also:
17 Nov 99 |  Wales
Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges
 |  Wales
Jury retires in school sex assaults case
30 Sep 99 |  Wales
Court told of headmaster's cruelty
Links to other Wales stories are at the foot of the page.