Released Oct 2011 – On license till 2017 – Current location unknown

October 2003

Care home head raped four girls


The former head of a Worcestershire children’s home has been jailed for 12 years for raping four girls in his care.

Brian Gillam, 62, carried out the attacks between 1974 and 1983, when he worked at Uplands Children’s Home, near Bromsgrove (pic above)

The father-of-four was found guilty of four counts of rape, five of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a girl under the age of 14 at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Gillam, who had denied the attacks, which were all carried out on girls aged between 12 and 15-years-old, was told his behaviour was “brutal” and “vile”.

He attacked girls aged from 12 to 15 between 1976 and 1984. They were abused in a bungalow in the home’s grounds – which he shared with his first wife and two sons – in an office, dormitories, the TV room, his car, and even in Bromsgrove’s public swimming baths.

One victim, now 41, alleged that Gillam – of Churchfields, Sidemoor, Bromsgrove – twice made her pregnant and paid for her two abortions.

She told how they had sex on the Lickey Hills after playing hide-and-seek in the ferns. She also claimed they made love on a camping trip to Cornwall, and in a caravan. Three-times wed Gillam eventually let her live at his bungalow, but complaints from staff led to demotion.

Gillam, a former butcher who is blind in one eye, claimed the victims invented complaints to win compensation. Sentencing the 62-year-old, Judge Michael Mott, told him: “You clearly had a sexual predilection for young girls and on occasions indulged it at the expense of these five young girls.

“Children with normal happy homes didn’t go to the Uplands. These were children with serious problems, difficult upbringings. “The care system was supposed to be there to help them work through their difficulties while being properly cared for.”

Gillam, of Churchfields, Sidemoor, Bromsgrove, abused the girls during trips to local swimming baths, in rooms around the home and in a bungalow he occupied on site. The catalogue of abuse ranged from girls being touched under their clothing, to rape.

Judge Mott continued: “There could frankly be no more vile an action as your rape against these young women. “When you abused your victims like this you risked lasting damage to their lives.” The judge criticised other members of staff at the home and Birmingham-based social services staff for failing to act on reports of wrongdoing at the time.

He added: “It is impossible to believe some members of staff didn’t realise to some degree what was happening.” Gillam was arrested in September 2002 by police officers investigating allegations of sex abuse at children’s homes across Worcestershire and Shropshire.

West Mercia Police assigned 19 officers to the case for more than 20 months, collecting 150 statements.

Gillam had claimed the victims at the institute in Green Hall, Blackwell, invented complaints to get compensation.

He was cleared of one count of rape and two of indecent assault.


THE MUM of a schoolgirl who suffered years of abuse in care because of Birmingham social services has spoken for the first time about her ordeal.

Gran-of-nine Sue Smith fought back tears as she recalled how her teenage daughter, Anne, was placed in the clutches of brutal paedophile Brian Gillam. The care home boss was jailed for 12 years in 2003 for raping and indecently assaulting five young girls.

The sex attacks took place while Gillam, 62, was principal of Uplands Children’s Home, in Bromsgrove, between 1974 and 1983

But when teenager Anne tried to alert the authorities to the abuse, her mother claims social workers refused to believe her. Sue, from Walsall, said: “My daughter tried to turn whistle-blower on lots of occasions but social services never wanted to know. “To them she was nothing but a bad girl who told lies to get her own way. But all she was doing was trying to save her own life.”

Anne later turned to a world of petty crime and prostitution and is now estranged from her loving mother. But Sue believes she could have been saved if social services had taken her claims seriously. She said: “The only people with the power to investigate what was happening were social services, yet they didn’t believe a word my girl told them.

“My daughter eventually came home when she was 16. But the abuse had destroyed the person she was and it has ruined her life ever since. “I’m still picking up the pieces to this day yet all social services ever offered her was £1,000 in compensation. People need to know how social services can ruin a child’s life.”

Anne was taken into care for truanting at just 13 years-old in 1976 and was soon targeted by Gillam. Sue said: “She would often run away and come home and tell me that she didn’t want to go back. “She said bad things were happening there but I couldn’t prove anything – so sent her back each time.

“But while she was complaining and rebelling, Gillam was treating that place like his own private playground. “My daughter later told me that he would often make the girls wear their underwear or swimwear for days on end. And one of his favourite ploys was to ask then to rub him down in baby oil.

“He took a particular fondness to certain girls and would take them to the pub or to a bungalow in the care home grounds and have sex with them. He was a brutally cruel, old pervert. “On one occasion he even pulled up outside my house with my daughter and a 15 year-old girl he later got pregnant.

“He stank of booze and said he was there to tell me about her progress. But it was more like an excuse to get them on their own in his van.” Susan finally rescued her daughter from Gillam’s grasp by hiding her in her home for six months when she was 16.

But the law did not catch up with the ex-care home boss until he was arrested in September 2002 by police investigating historic allegations of sex abuse at children’s homes across Worcester-shire and Shropshire. 

Sue and Anne’s names have been channged to protect their identity