Social services taxi driver abused children for years

A TAXI driver who worked for social services driving special needs children to school has been convicted of a string of sexual offences against youngsters.

Graham White, 53, of Crocus Way, Chelmsford, pleaded guilty at Basildon Crown Court to 20 counts of sexual abuse of children over a 29-year period and has been warned to expect a lengthy prison sentence.

One of his victims – his sister Alison – has bravely waived her right to anonymity as the victim of a sex offence, in the hope that telling her story might give other potential victims the strength to come forward.

White, who carried out the attacks between 1971 and 1999, worked for Allied Radio Cars, based in Drood Close, Chelmsford, who were contracted by Essex County Council social services to take children with special needs to school.
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It is not known whether any of the victims were children he met while on that job, as White’s guilty plea spared the victims the strain of retelling their stories in court.

However, during that time the private hire firm received several complaints about White’s inappropriate behaviour towards children, which included taking them out for unscheduled meals and treats.

The company also received anonymous phone calls accusing it of employing a paedophile – although no action was taken as the claims could not be substantiated.

The attacks only came to light after one of the victims, who was abused when aged just eight, contacted Alison through internet site Friends Reunited, in an attempt to find the man who had ruined his life – and kill him.

The man’s revelations reawakened long-buried memories of her own abuse, and she managed to persuade him to go with her to the police and seek justice through the courts.

Alison, now aged 42, but who was just six when she was first abused by her brother, told the Chronicle: “I always thought he had done something very bad to me, but I never understood what it was.

“I was never easy around him, and I was always a bit scared of him and what he might do – even though on the surface he was very good to me, almost like a father.

“He always looked out for me – now I know why this was.

“I always had it in the back of my mind that he had done something to me when I was a little girl, but it seemed like a dream.”

Alison added: “As soon as the victim came forward and said he had something to tell me about what happened when I was a little girl, I knew what he was going to say.

“I realised that these memories which I had thought must be a dream were real.”

The man told her that he had witnessed her being abused by White on several occasions while they were growing up together.

White was also charged with inciting the man, then a boy aged around 8, to carry out a sexual assault on Alison while he watched.

The man told the Chronicle that he turned up to Chelmsford police station 10 years ago when he first wanted to report the abuse, but officers refused to speak to him as he had been drinking.

The family moved to Dixon Avenue, Chelmsford, when Alison was around 13 years old, and Alison says that her brother continued to abuse her until she was about 16.

At an earlier hearing White pleaded guilty to sex offences against four boys under 13, over a 25-year period.

He initially denied the assaults and an attempted rape against Alison, as well as further charges of indecent assault against one other boy.

But this week he changed his plea in relation to the attempted rape to guilty, and the other charges were ordered to lie on file to spare the victims the need for a trial.

Following the trial victims said that they had reported White to the police on several occasions – one 11 years ago and another 20 years ago – raising questions about why he was still allowed to work with vulnerable children.

Alison is convinced more victims will come forward when they hear about her brother’s convictions.

She said: “He was very well known and very popular. A lot of people are going to be very shocked when they learn what he is really like.”

Remarkably, given what he put her through, she retains some warm feelings for him.

She said: “He deserves to be punished for what he has done, he has to go to prison but I am worried about what will happen to him there. I can’t help it, he is still my brother.”