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12 January 2015, 15:23
The former head of an Oxfordshire children's home has been sentenced today to 12-and-a-half years imprisonment for abusing young boys.
Rodney Smallman, aged 73, of Erica Close, Banbury, was convicted at Oxford Crown Court on 19 December of 15 counts of indecent assault.
The offences took place between 1976 and 1982, when Smallman ran a children’s home in Oxfordshire.
One of the victims told police about the abuse in 2012 and following an investigation by the Child Abuse Investigation Unit, more victims were identified.
Smallman was arrested in February 2013 and denied the allegations. He was first charged in August 2013.
Investigating officer Det Con Joanne Waddington from the Child Abuse Investigation Unit said: "Today's sentence marks the end of this particular trial, but certainly not the end of matters for the victims of this horrific abuse.
"They have to continue living with what Smallman did every day but thanks to their courage in coming forward, he now faces a long time behind bars.
"I want to take this opportunity to once again thank the victims for their bravery in not only telling police what had happened to them, but supporting the case through court and having the courage to give evidence.
"While there have been several high profile cases about historical abuse, every single case is taken seriously. Hopefully the sentence here today shows how hard we are working to make sure every offender is brought to justice, no matter when the offence took place.
"If you have been a victim of sexual abuse or know someone who has, then please contact police. It doesn’t matter how long ago the abuse happened, we will listen to you and we will do everything to make sure abusers pay for their actions."
Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved sexual activity between the Head of an Oxfordshire children’s home, who is now 73-years-old, and boys, all aged under 16 at the time of the offences.
"As the head of the home, Rodney Smallman abused his position of trust and took advantage of his status to prey on young boys and sexually abuse them for his own sexual gratification.
"It is only due to the great courage of the victims that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to them for their strength and tenacity in coming forward.
"Smallman denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct, but on 19 December 2014, after a two week trial at Oxford Crown Court, he was found guilty of 15 counts of indecent assault despite his denials.
"The conviction and today’s sentence serves as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those that know such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward and that time is no barrier to justice. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.
"The emotional impact, on the victims and their families, of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the conviction and sentence gives some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."