Three brave Derbyshire women speak out about sex abuse at hands of social worker

Three Derbyshire women sexually abused by a social worker when residents at a children’s care home have urged others not to suffer in silence.

Thursday, 30th April 2020, 1:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th April 2020, 1:43 pm

Andrew Wilson, of Bakewell, indecently assaulted young girls who were staying at Moorfields Assessment Centre in Derby in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2012, he was convicted of making indecent images of children and of possession of extreme pornographic images. Five years later, Wilson, then aged 62, was jailed for 40 months after being found guilty six counts of indecent assault on two underage girls at the home.

Now three brave women have urged other abuse survivors to come forward and seek support – with two waiving their right to anonymity.

The three women were abused as children by Andrew Wilson. Photo by Jon Challicom for NSPCC.

Sharon Gillott, 51, from Ripley, was a resident at Moorfields Children’s Centre in the early 1980s and was abused by Wilson.

Sharon, who has two children and works in a school, said: “The whole ordeal had a major impact on my life, but there was a huge sense of relief when the police got in touch and I opened up to them.

“The past few years have been my time to be listened to after years of bottling it all up.

“It remains difficult to talk about what happened and it is very upsetting. Receiving a settlement does not erase all the memories of what happened, but I want to try and start looking to the future a little more positively.

“It can be immensely difficult coming forward to speak about such experiences, but people can rest assured that they will be listened to.”

The three women spoke out after legal firm Irwin Mitchell secured undisclosed settlements from Derbyshire County Council, which runs Moorfields Assessment Centre.

Kim Moss, 54, from Derby, also reported being abused by Wilson at Moorfields in the late 1970s when she was around 12 and 13.

However, Wilson was acquitted of abusing her in his criminal trial in 2017.

She said: “It is difficult to put into words how much what happened has affected me. I was supposed to feel safe in the home, yet it is clear that I was not.

“In the 1990s I talked to someone about what happened but nothing was ever taken forward. I felt like everything I had been through was just being ignored. It has all had a major impact on me and even now I suffer with mental health issues like paranoia and a lack of trust.

“It is difficult to put into words how upset I was when Wilson was acquitted but I was determined that should not be the end of it.

“Nothing will ever change what has happened, but receiving this settlement feels like I have some form of justice for what happened and will ensure I can access the ongoing support I need.

“However, I also hope by coming forward and speaking out, others affected by similar issues will recognise they do not have to suffer on their own anymore.”