Gay carers found guilty of abuse

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A gay couple have been found guilty of abusing four boys between the ages of eight and 14 in their care.

Ian Wathey, 40, and Craig Faunch, 32, were convicted of taking advantage of children put in their care by Wakefield Council in West Yorkshire, and molesting children.

Mr Wathey and Mr Faunch were approved by social services in 2003, but used their position within months to video and perform sex acts on troubled boys, the jury heard.

Prosecuting at Leeds Crown Court, Jeremy Richardson gave an example of eight-year-old twins, placed in their care, being filmed on the toilet. The boys allegedly showed their mother the pictures which led her to tell social services.

The defendants at the time insisted the photos were taken to embarrass the boys so they would close the bathroom door. maintained the photos were taken to embarrass the boys into closing the toilet door.

Mr Richardson recognised that this explanation was accepted, he said: “The matter was not looked into more seriously than that.”

However police intervened when a boy complained about Mr Faunch abusing him three times.

Additionally, an autistic 14 year old boy with a mental age of seven, claimed Mr Wathey performed a sex act on him made him watch gay porn and touch himself.

He said the men “hurt” him.

Defending, Andrew Robertson told the court that one of the alleged victims had made unfounded sexual claims in the past.

He said the boy had a “vivid imagination” and had claimed to have witnessed a murder, been kidnapped, and sexually abused.

Mr Robertson claimed the prosecution had “extremely weak” evidence and “thoroughly unreliable” complainants.”

The accused couple had unblemished records, the court heard.

Mr Wathey will be charged with six charges of sex with a child and one of causing a child to watch a sex act on video.

And Mr Faunch will receive two charges of taking indecent photos and five of having sex with two boys.

Both men denied the accusations throughout the trial.