Stoke Newington child abuser put soap down boys’ throats and burning paper down trousers, court hears

The elderly couple are facing 22 charges between them.

The elderly couple are facing 22 charges between them. - Credit: shutterstock

A woman abused children by forcing soap down their throat, holding their hands over a cooker and sticking burning paper down their trousers, a court heard today.

Valerie Stannard, 73, and her husband Roy, 74, have between them been charged with 22 counts of child cruelty and indecent assault.

The allegations date from the 1960s through to the 1980s, when the couple lived in Stoke Newington.

Opening the three-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, prosecutor Sally Hales said the five victims, who were all under 16 at the time, had suffered “miserable childhoods” as a result of the “physical abuse” and “cruelty”.

Miss Hales said the victims had recalled a cane and a belt used by Valerie to beat them, while Roy would punch one of the boys “like he was punching a man”.

It is also alleged some of the boys had soap put down their throats after one had misbehaved, causing one to choke. “Mrs Stannard would also put lit paper down the boys’ trousers or would hold their hand over a cooker flame,” Miss Hales continued. “She would make other children watch.”

Jurors were told how Roy had once put a coat hanger down the back of one of the boys’ jumper and hung him on the back of a door until he choked.

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Roy is also charged with seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child. The court heard he asked a girl, when she was 11, if he could “touch her”, before groping her and rubbing his penis on her back. He also allegedly asked her to masturbate him.

Another victim has also accused Roy of sexually assaulting him.

The elderly defendants, who now live in Barge Lane, Bow, both deny all of the accusations and sat expressionless as Miss Hales made her opening speech.

Valerie Stannard is charged with 10 counts of cruelty to a person under 16. Roy Stannard is charged with three counts of cruelty to a person under 16, as well as the nine counts of indecency.

The trial continues.