Stoke Newington child abuse trial: Elderly couple face jail after being found guilty of 18 offences

PUBLISHED: 17:35 28 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:13 28 March 2017

Valerie and Roy Stannard arriving at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Valerie and Roy Stannard arriving at Snaresbrook Crown Court.


An elderly couple who abused children in Stoke Newington over three decades have been brought to justice – 48 years on.

Valerie Stannard, 73, and her husband Roy, 74, face jail after being convicted of 18 counts of child abuse and indecent assault between the 1960s and 1980s.

The charges related to five victims, all under 16 at the time, who prosecutor Sally Hales said suffered greatly as a result of the “physical abuse” and “cruelty”.

Over the course of the four-week trial, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how Roy had asked a girl, when she was 11, if he could “touch her”, before groping her and rubbing his penis on her back. He also asked her to masturbate him.

Jurors also heard from a victim, now 60, who described how Valerie had forced soap down his throat, held his hand over a gas cooker and stuck burning paper down his trousers.

Appearing via video link, the traumatised man said Valerie would hit him with “the nearest thing” available to her.

“She’d get me on the floor and punch into me,” he told the court. “The back of my legs [were] all marked with strap marks and cane marks.

“[Once] I had soap in my mouth because I swore. It got jammed in my throat. I thought I was going to die.”

When Ms Hales asked him why Valerie had abused him, he replied: “She’s just a lunatic.”

The victim also described how on one occasion Valerie had shoved newspaper down his trousers and lit it.

“She told me ‘don’t move’ and that I’d have to take the pain,” he continued. “Then she put cream on my stomach to get rid of the burns.

“It was painful but there was nothing I could do. I bit my tongue to get rid of the pain.”

When asked by Ms Hales how else he was hurt by Valerie, he added: “She gave me a mental illness: that’s what she gave me.”

He also told the court how Roy had beaten him up and punched him regularly. He described one occasion: “I landed on the floor and he carried on beating me,” he said. “He’d punch me anywhere – the head, the back, the stomach.

“It lasted five or six minutes. He was bigger and stronger than me. I had bruises on my back and my face. We were too frightened to tell anybody.”

Recalling another attack, he continued: “He hung me on the door with a coat hanger and when I was choking he got me back down. I could hardly breathe.”

The Stannards, of Barge Lane, Bow, denied all charges. During cross-examination, Roy had told the court: “It was a very different time back then. If you gave cheek, you got a clip around the ear.”

Roy was found guilty of three counts of cruelty to a person under 16, four counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child.

He was cleared of three counts of indecent assault on a male aged under 14.

Valerie was found guilty of nine counts of cruelty to a person under 16 and cleared of one count of the same charge.

They will be sentenced on May 4.

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