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How do you Spell Abuse?

April 4, 2012 permalink

S-o-c-i-a-l W-o-r-k-e-r. When five-year-old Cleo spelled a word wrong, social worker Victor Lindsay put a 5cm rupture in her bladder by jumping on her with his full weight. Earlier he had put the girl in the same hospital by breaking her jaw. When Lindsay's three stepchildren complained to police and social services, they were dismissed as troublemakers.



Social worker, 45, jailed for nine years after subjecting his own stepchildren to a DECADE of abuse

  • Victor Lindsay, 45, beat and tortured three children aged five and under
  • Children were dangled from balcony, jumped on, suffered broken bones, and made to run four miles to school
  • Judge says actions were an 'extraordinary contradiction'

A social worker who subjected his stepchildren to almost a decade of 'deliberate and unceasing cruelty' has been jailed for nearly nine years.

Victor Lindsay, 45, brutally beat and tortured his girlfriend's three children Leon, Leona, and Cleo, who were aged five, four and two respectively when the attacks began in 1985.

Horrified Judge William Kennedy said Lindsay's actions represented an 'extraordinary contradiction' considering he had worked for many years as a social worker and a youth worker.

The horrific abuse began with Lindsay dangling the youngsters over a high balcony before degenerating into extreme violence.

Each injury was explained away by mother Heather Seraphim while police and social workers did nothing to help the children, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Snaresbrook Crown Court
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Victor Lindsay, 45, brutally beat his stepchildren over a decade

When Cleo was just four years old, Lindsay broke her jaw with a right hook because she failed to stand still with her arms up in a 'stress position' he often imposed as a punishment.

She was left without treatment for days until staff at her nursery school noticed her injuries and took her to hospital.

Five months later in January 1989 the little girl, then aged five, was admitted to the same hospital with suspected appendicitis.

Surgeons found a 5cm rupture to her bladder caused by her stepdad jumping on her with his full weight when she got a spelling question wrong.

All three children remember being made to run four miles from their home in Hackney to their school in Islington with Lindsay following in his car to make sure they did as they were told.

He would swing punches at Leon for no apparent reason and once threw a plastic plate at Leona, leaving a permanent scar on her face.

On one occasion Lindsay refused to let the youngsters use a bridge to cross the River Lea near their house in Pedro Street and insisted that they waded across.

Only when Cleo was in trouble and seemed on the point of drowning did he get in and rescue her.

The River Lea in Ware: The court heard how Lindsay made one of his daughters wade across the river

All three children reported the abuse to police and social services but were not believed, with social workers even branding Leon a 'troublemaker' and sending him to live with family in the Dominican Republic.

Aged just 13, the youngster was told he was going on a two-week holiday then refused any help getting back to the UK.

Lindsay was arrested in October 2010 after all three children reported him to the police.

He denied any wrongdoing until the day of his planned trial in March, when he admitted six counts of child cruelty and two of assault causing grievous bodily harm.

Passing sentence, Judge Kennedy condemned the 'disgracefully inept' police and social services staff who let the abuse continue.

Jailing Lindsay for eight years and 11 months, he said: 'Relatively small incidents of cruelty, for example dangling tiny children over a high balcony so that they feared they might fall, began as soon as you joined the household.

'These quickly degenerated into physical violence, where each child was hit with objects such as coat hangers, punched and kicked on what seemed to them to be a daily basis for no reason at all.

'By way of further example, you from time to time dragged Cleo round by her hair and you ground Leon's head with your fist.

'So many acts of cruelty, all against youngsters in your care and who should have been able to look to you for protection against the ordinary dangers of young life, were visited upon them by you on a daily basis.

'Every injury was explained away by you and the children's mother. The Hackney Social Services Department at that time seems to have been entirely ineffectual.

'Cleo was made the subject of a care order, and although she complained of assault by you, was eventually returned to you and her mother.

'Leona ran away from home to escape the violence, but was returned there despite having told police officers of repeated assaults.

'Reports made to police officers were uninvestigated, despite an unceasing tide of injury and complaint.

'Man's inhumanity to man always disappoints, but a man's deliberate and unceasing cruelty to disadvantaged children repels and sickens.

'The fact you have spent many years as a social worker, both in residential establishments and as a youth worker, represents an extraordinary contradiction.'

The court heard Lindsay had been abused as a child and had gone on a domestic violence education programme when convicted of assaulting Ms Seraphim in 1997.

Lindsay, of Homerton High Street, Hackney, admitted six counts of child cruelty and two of assault causing grievous bodily harm.

Source: Daily Mail