A SOCIAL worker who sexually abused a teenager from a care home more than 30 years ago has been jailed for a total of nine years.

Brian O’Leary, aged 66, denied four counts of indecent assault and one of attempting to commit indecent sexual assault between October, 1979 and June, 1980, but was found guilty by a jury at Worcester Crown Court yesterday.

Sentencing O’Leary, Judge Michael Cullum said former colleagues spoke highly of him, but were unaware of his “dark secret” from years ago.

During the trial, the court was told O’Leary took his victim, now aged 50, to his home in Oakland Avenue, close to the care home in Ledwych Road, Droitwich.

He carried out sexual acts and later followed the 15 year old to Hereford in an effort to continue their association.

Prosecutor Andrew Wallace described him as “a sexual predator”.

Defence counsel Jason Aris said there was no background of intimidation or the use of alcohol or drugs involved in the offences.

He conceded there was emotional damage but there had been no physical threats.

O’Leary’s upstanding reputation for work in the community had been destroyed, he said, and although he had the support of his family, because of the publicity surrounding the case there would be difficulties when he was released.

The judge described the teenager as a vulnerable victim who had been placed in a home because he had been abused by his own father.

The victim had suffered life-changing effects after the abuse and had only come forward because he wanted an apology, the judge said.

“He said he felt dirty and ashamed,” he told O’Leary.

“He should not feel like that. You should feel dirty and ashamed. He is repeatedly having to re-live a nightmare.”

O’Leary was sentenced to nine years for the indecent assaults.

He was sentenced to a four-year concurrent term for the attempted indecent sexual assault and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

The judge said he had taken into account O’Leary’s good character but colleagues who had spoken highly of him were unaware of his “dark secret” and a reputation built on suppressing the truth.

Related links: