Couple from Bow jailed for sickening catalogue of child abuse over three decades

Roy and Valerie Stannard. Picture: MET POLICE

Roy and Valerie Stannard. Picture: MET POLICE - Credit: Archant

A sadistic couple from Bow have been jailed for a catalogue of sexual, physical and emotional abuse on five children over three decades.

Valerie Stannard, 73, and her husband Roy, 74, of Barge Lane, carried out their sickening acts on the boys and girls, all under the age of 16, during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard one child had tissue put down the front of his pyjamas and set fire to; another had his hand placed on a gas fire while more children recounted numerous beatings with belts, sticks and other weapons as well as sexual assaults.

Roy sexually assaulted one girl six times and all five victims were often forced to sit in a dark cupboard in the basement as punishment.

All five were forced to carry out chores before they could leave to go to school which meant they rarely had time for breakfast and were seldom fed at all by the couple.

One boy with learning difficulties was subjected to severe emotional abuse which included Valerie forcing a bar of soap in his mouth so hard it became lodged in his throat and he almost choked.

If the other children tried to intervene during episodes of cruelty involving other victims they would be beaten, with one boy being tied to a highchair with a rope.

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The children were also locked in their bedrooms and detailed how they were neglected and emotionally abused.

The abuse came to light when one of the victims, now in his 50s, courageously came forward and told police resulting in the couple being arrested and subsequently charged in July 2014.

Valerie was jailed for nine years last week after being convicted of nine counts of child cruelty.

Roy was convicted of three counts of child cruelty and six counts of sexual assault on a girl and was jailed for 12 years.

Both had denied carrying out the attacks which took place in Stoke Newington.

Detective Constable Janet Glover, investigating officer, said: “The victims suffered many years of horrendous abuse and cruelty at the hands of the Stannards, that has left them emotionally scarred for life.

“I truly hope the Stannards’ conviction and sentencing will help bring them some closure despite the couple showing not a shred of compassion or remorse for their actions.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victims for their tremendous courage in coming forward and giving evidence in this case. The Metropolitan Police is committed to investigating such offences against children, historic or otherwise, and will strive to bring offenders to justice.

“I would encourage anyone who suspects offences have or are being committed against children to report their concerns to police, children’s social services or the NSPCC.”

An NSPCC spokesman said: “Valerie and Roy Stannard’s long campaign of abuse has had a devastating impact on their victims.

“It takes an enormous amount of courage for victims to speak about their ordeals. This case highlights once again that when they do, they are listened to and their abusers can be brought to justice.

“We hope the Stannards’ sentence brings their victims some form of closure and that they have received all appropriate support to help them move forward with their lives.”