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Sex offender who targeted boys at children’s home jailed for 26 years

October 14, 2021
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A manipulative sex offender who abused children in his care more than five decades ago has finally been brought to justice.

Nigel Pipe, now aged 87, targeted numerous residents at the Skegby Hall Approved School in Sutton-in-Ashfield in the mid-to-late 1960s.

He was today (Thursday) jailed for a total of 26 years.

Pipe, who worked as a relief housemaster at the now-defunct home, abused his position of trust to commit multiple offences against five different boys.

Detectives interviewed the boys as part of a wider and ongoing enquiry into historic sexual abuse at institutional facilities in Nottinghamshire.

Pipe, who was later charged with multiple offences, denied all the allegations against him and claimed his victims were making them up in order to seek compensation.

However, after listening to six weeks of evidence – including a video testimony from a victim who died before the trial – a jury found him guilty on Tuesday of a total of 27 charges – four counts of buggery, nine counts of indecency with a child, and 14 counts of indecent assault.

Pipe, of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court.

Skegby Hall was an approved school operated by Nottinghamshire County Council. Boys as young as eight-years-old could be sent there by a court if they were deemed beyond parental control, or had committed minor criminal offences. 

The boys could then be kept there until they were 15-years-old, unless a review panel considered they were ready to return to society and their home circumstances were considered suitable for their care and control.

Pipe worked in the school as a relief housemaster and would be in charge of the boys when they were outside of lessons and when the permanent housemasters were away or off duty. 

This included being in charge of the boys when they had been put to bed as the on duty member of staff.

Detective Constable Neil Beddoe, who worked on Nottinghamshire Police’s Public Protection team, said:

“Pipe was a  manipulative sex offender who was actually known to pupils at the time for being mild-mannered and kind. Sadly he used this popularity to systematically target vulnerable boys over a period of several years.

“His victims were vulnerable children who had mostly had extremely challenging lives up to that point. As part of an institution tasked with helping to improve their lives, Pipe was placed into a sacred position of trust that he then abused in the most appalling way imaginable.

“Until you have met and interviewed victims of childhood sexual abuse it is difficult to understand just how damaging these acts can be. These men have all had to live with the burden of what happened to them as children and have in many cases experienced considerable challenges in their adult lives as a result.

“As they have struggled Pipe has enjoyed a full and productive life – hiding behind a shield of respectability as a family man. It was from behind this shield that he sought to discredit his victims, describing them as ‘devious and delinquent.’

“Hundreds of hours of detectives’ time have gone into this prosecution, not only to bring him to justice, but also to provide a degree of comfort and closure to those victims.

“Each of them has acted with remarkable calm and dignity during this process and also displayed considerable courage in recounting their experiences to the court. I would like to pay tribute to them and thank them all on behalf of Nottinghamshire Police for making this prosecution possible.

“Finally I would like to reach out to other victims of historic sexual abuse. It really doesn’t matter how long-ago offences happened; what matters is that they happened at all. If you come to us with an allegation we will investigate, we will follow the evidence and we will bring criminal charges if we can.”

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