Notorious child sex offender dies in prison
FRANK BECK, (pic above) one of Britain’s most notorious sex offenders who was convicted of abusing children in his care at Leicestershire children’s homes, has died in jail.
Frank Beck 52, died on 31 May 1994, two and a half years after his imprisonment, apparently as a result of a heart attack whilst playing badminton at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire. He was aged fifty two. Beck’s body was cremated on 9 June 1994, at a private ceremony at the Gilroes Crematorium in Leicester, attended by a small number of family members. The then eighty-eight year old Labour peer, Lord Longford, caused great controversy by sending flowers to the funeral. Longford had befriended Beck in prison and was convinced of his innocence
Dangerous paedophile Frank Beck pictured above
Unsurprisingly, his sudden death after such a relatively short period of incarceration led to speculation that he had been murdered. D’Arcy and Gosling, in their book, ‘Abuse of Trust”, claim that fellow prisoners (some of whom had allegedly been his victims) attributed his death to speed, which had supposedly been surreptitiously added to his food over a period of months
He was convicted at Leicester Crown Court in November 1991 of 17 charges of sexual and physical abuse of boys and girls including rape, buggery, indecent assault and assault. Sentencing Beck to five life terms, the judge, Mr Justice Jowitt, told him: ‘You are a man with considerable talents and very great evil. You were entrusted with the care of some of the most disturbed children . . . many had been sexually abused already and could hardly have been more vulnerable.’
Frank Beck, who carried out systematic abuse between 1973 and 1986 including ‘regression therapy’ in which children were forced to wear nappies, was jailed in 1991 for rape and buggery
Beck had a lonely and disturbed childhood. He was teased for being effeminate and before he was 13 he was sexually assaulted by a man on a train. He went on to become a Liberal councillor and leading childcare worker.
It was a chance remark by a mother that sparked Britain’s biggest investigation into child abuse. The conversation between the woman, accused of ill-treating her son, and a Leicestershire council officer did not take place until 1989, three years after Beck resigned as head of three children‘s homes, the Poplars in Market Harborough, the Ratcliffe Road home in Leicester, and the Beeches in Leicester Forest East.
She confided in the official, blaming her own behaviour on the abuse she suffered herself while in Beck’s care at the Ratcliffe Road home in the mid-1970s. She was advised to go to the police and detectives she spoke to noted the names of other children who also claimed they were abused. Senior police officers decided to interview every child who had been in care in homes run by Beck from when he started work at them in 1973.
Dozens of witnesses, in their twenties and thirties by the time of the trial in 1991, gave evidence during the 11-week hearing. Many of the adult victims spoke from behind screens, detailing incidents from when they were as young as eight, of being forced to perform oral sex with Beck or of being buggered or raped by him.