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In November 2019 it was reported that a childcare worker (now known to be Jayden McCarthy) had been arrested over allegations that children were sexually abused at the Jack and Jill Childcare Nursery, Courtland Road, Torquay, Devon. McCarthy joined the nursery as an apprentice in March 2019. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks were carried out.
The investigation began in summer 2019 after an allegation of sexual assault was made. The police contacted more than a hundred families, but it was later stated that letters had been sent to the parents of 52 children.
Can I make a claim for compensation on behalf of my child, who was assaulted at the Jack and Jill nursery?
Parents can make a claim for financial compensation for the assaults upon their child and the impact of those assaults in the longer term. We, at IBB Law, are currently acting on behalf of a number of parents of children who allege assault by Jayden McCarthy.
If your child was sexually abused or assaulted at the Jack and Jill Nursery by Jayden McCarthy, speak to Malcolm Underhill for advice as to whether a claim can be made, or just to discuss the options available, without any obligation. Call today on 03331239099, email email@example.com or fill in our online form.
What happened when Jayden McCarthy appeared in court?
Jayden McCarthy, the childcare worker, of Brixham, Devon, was a boy of 17 years of age, at the time of arrest on the 29 July 2019. He was released on police bail to 22 January 2020. The bail was extended while investigations continued.
Jayden McCarthy first appeared in court at Exeter Youth Court in May 2020. He was charged with one count of rape against a child and 13 counts of sexual touching in respect of eight children. He was also charged with two counts of historic rape, although those charges did not relate to the Jack and Jill nursery, in Torquay. The 17-year-old was bailed until 2 June 2020, to appear at Exeter Crown Court.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector James Stock said that officers had reviewed more than 250 hours of CCTV footage. He said, “as a result of CCTV enquiries, a number of children aged 2+ have been identified as potential victims of contact offences.” He went on to state that “the contact appears to be limited to within the nursery setting and we do not believe that any other member of staff had knowledge of the matters. These appear to be the actions of a lone individual and the offences do not involve the taking or distributing of any images”.
Nancy Meehan, Deputy Director of Torbay children’s services said, “we take safeguarding children incredibly seriously and we are working closely with partners including the police in relation to this matter”.
When appearing at court on the 2 June 2020, Jayden McCarthy from South Devon, pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting children at the nursery, during a 19 day period. Jayden McCarthy was alleged to have raped one girl and sexually assaulted 8 others, all aged 2 or 3 years, between 10 and 29 July 2019.
Jayden McCarthy was also charged with two unrelated rapes of a child between 2014 and 2015. He was alleged to have assaulted one child three times, on different dates, and another two children, twice.
He denied a total of three counts of raping a child and 13 counts of sexually assaulting a child, when he appeared by Skype at the hearing at Exeter Crown Court on the 2 June 2020.
Judge Timothy Rose set a provisional date of 21 September 2020, for a two-week trial at Exeter Crown Court. However, Judge David Evans adjourned the case, as there were problems in the preparation of the prosecution and defence cases.
What happened at the trial of Jayden McCarthy?
On 17 May 2021 Jayden McCarthy, aged 16 at the time of the alleged offences, went on trial at Exeter Crown Court, accused of sexually assaulting nine children at a nursery in Torbay. The prosecution alleged the CCTV footage revealed 13 incidents when Jayden McCarthy is caught sexually assaulting children. At the time of his trial he was aged 18 years of age.
According to the prosecution Jayden McCarthy would commit the offences while encouraging children to crawl over him on the floor, away from staff in a toilet block, or when applying sun cream.
The prosecution stated, “over the course of several weeks in 2019 Jayden McCarthy sexually assaulted nine children. These assaults were of varying degrees of seriousness, ranging from touching children over and under clothing in their private areas to an incident of rape”.
At the trial Jayden McCarthy denied the sexual offences. The jury were shown 13 CCTV clips taken in July 2019 of him touching eight children inappropriately.
What sexual offences was Jayden McCarthy convicted of?
Jayden McCarthy, age 18 at the time of trial, was found guilty of:
- 1 count of rape of a girl under 13;
- 11 counts of sexual assault of a girl under 13 by touching;
- 2 counts of a sexual assault of a boy under 13 by touching;
- He was also found guilty of 2 further rapes on a boy, in 2014, not connected with the nursery.
What jail sentence was Jayden McCarthy given for the sexual assaults?
At Exeter Crown Court he was handed down a custodial sentence of 11 years and 6 months with extended licence of 3 years consecutive.
What jail sentence was Jayden McCarthy given for the sexual assaults?
At Exeter Crown Court he was handed down a custodial sentence of 11 years and 6 months.
What did the Police say after the trial?
Detective Chief Inspector James Stock, ofthe Public Protection Unit at Devon and Cornwall Police, said the case had been an "emotionally challenging and incredibly complex case".
What did the NSPCC say?A representative of the NSPCC said, NSPCC said: “This is an awful case in which a number of very young children, and their families, have been affected and will need support to overcome.
“The bravery and courage shown in giving evidence is truly commendable. It has helped bring this offender to justice and we hope that the conviction gives all those impacted by this abuse some measure of closure.”
Who were the victims of Jayden McCarthy?
All the victims will have lifelong anonymity, because of the nature of the offences.
Jack and Jill Childcare Nursery
The Jack and Jill nursery in Torquay was a privately run childcare Nursery, accommodating children from birth until five years, providing full day care. The nursery was incorporated in June 2016 and registered in December 2017.
On 13 July 2019 OFSTED received notification of an alleged incident at the nursery, which resulted in an unannounced visit by Ofsted and the subsequent issue of a notice to improve. That notice required the nursery to ensure that all staff understood and took account of all aspects of safeguarding children, particularly with regards to allegations made against a member of staff.
On the 4 October 2019 OFSTED undertook a further visit to Jack and Jill nursery, Torquay, which resulted in the serving of a welfare requirement notice. That notice required the nursery to ensure all staff had a secure knowledge and clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, particularly with regard to staff interactions with children and how and when physical intervention was to be used.
OFSTED suspended the nursery’s registration because they believed children may have been at risk of harm. On the 8 January 2020 the Torquay nursery resigned their registration and thus the Jack and Jill Childcare Nursery, Torquay, was closed. At the time of closing the managers of the nursery made a statement: “Following [alleged] events from July 2019, we have worked tirelessly alongside the police, Ofsted and the local authority. Thank you for your support over the years, and more especially recently. The love and care shown by so many of you has brought light during such darkness. We wish you every happiness and success, and may 2020 be a year of positivity for you all. With love and thanks from Jack and Jill Chilcare Limited”.
The childcare business had been operating for 15 years.
What was the Torbay Investigation into the sexual assaults of Jayden McCarthy?
An independent review into the actions of Jayden McCarthy, commissioned by Torbay’s Safeguarding Partnership, began as soon as concerns were raised.
Steve Hart, Chair of the review panel, said, “This is a very sad case and our thoughts and best wishes go to everybody who has been directly or indirectly affected.
“As soon as this matter came to light, Torbay’s Safeguarding Partnership commissioned an independent review that is being led by a fully qualified and experienced practitioner and manager in the field, Sarah Lawrence, who is supported by a multi--disciplinary team.
“Due to the legal restrictions associated with the criminal trial it has not yet been possible for the review to be completed, although significant progress has been made.
“Now that a verdict has been reached, Sarah Lawrence will immediately resume work on the outstanding matters and the review will be published in due course.
“Once completed, the review will enable the partnership to understand the specific detail of what has happened and to learn and implement any lessons that have arisen so that we can all work to continue to safeguard and protect the children of Torbay. The key findings of this review will be published at the earliest opportunity.”
The Child Safeguarding Practice Review was published in August 2021. It made 23 recommendations for the Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership. The recommendations include issues relating to the supervision of under 17’s and monitoring of practice (including CCTV).
What to do if you have been the victim of sexual abuse in a nursery or school
If you or someone you know experienced sexual abuse at a nursery or school, it is not too late to pursue legal action, even if you did not report it at the time. Our child abuse solicitors are highly experienced in helping children and adults deal with both recent and historic allegations of child abuse in nurseries and schools, so please get in touch to find out more about taking action.