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In or around 1999, I acted for approximately 20 individuals who started a Group Action arising from the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse they suffered at the hands of Bruce McLean, a care worker at Kilrie. Although the cut off date was 28th April 2000 and the Litigation closed on 31st October 2001, new cases are always considered..

The solicitors acting for the Council agreed to settle the cases, particularly because Bruce McLean had been convicted and sentenced for many of the crimes committed upon my clients.

Plea For Victims

I know that Cheshire Police, who brought the action received enquiries from at least 70 individuals. I remain concerned, therefore, that there are still victims who have never come forward to pursue a civil compensation claim.


Originally, a large Victorian House in its own grounds on Northwich Road, Knutsford, Kilrie Children's Home became a Children's Home and was owned and managed by Cheshire County Council. It closed in 1998 and was demolished to make way for housing.

Bruce McLean 1997 Prosecution

According to the Knutsford Guardian "Between 1979 and 1990 life was far from happy for many of the children.

In May 1997 care worker Bruce McLean was jailed for nine years after a jury at Chester Crown Court found him guilty of indecently assaulting 10 children over an 11-year period at the home.

When sentencing him Judge Huw Daniel described McLean as a classic paedophile who had formed a close bond with children in need of love - then taken advantage of them.

During the trial men wept as they told the story of their abuse at the hands of the former fireman.

One victim told the court that he was 11 when McLean touched him as they processed film together in Kilrie's darkroom.

"I didn't go back into the darkroom alone again," the boy, aged 28 at the time of the trial, told the jury.

Another man wept as he told the court how he had turned to drink and drugs to blot out the memory of his abuse at Kilrie.

The witness, who was 22 when he gave evidence, told how he had been molested in the bath and in a corridor when he was six.

He said taking drugs - such as cannabis, amphetamines, speed and ecstasy - and drinking bottles of brandy was his way of coping with realising he had been abused.

"I didn't want to tell anyone," said the man in court. "I was taking a lot of drugs to subside the pain of thinking about it." "

Bruce McLean No. 2 Prosecution 2018

It just goes to show that life has  habit of catching up with you because some 11 years later, McLean having been released from prison, more victims came forward, this time to Derbyshire Police. According to Derbyshire Live in September 2019:-

Bruce McLean, 62, was sentenced to 15 years in prison at Chester Crown Court on Monday for abusing boys.

The court heard he abused children while working at the Taxal Edge care home in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, as well as Kilrie care home in Knutsford, Cheshire.

He also abused a boy at the Rosebank care home in Warrington, also in Cheshire, where his father worked.

McLean worked at Taxal Edge children's home in Whaley Bridge between 1974 and 1978 - leaving the year before paedophile football coach Barry Bennell took up a post there."

If he serves half his sentence, he should be released in 2026.

I also acted for a number of victims arising out of the second McLean police prosecution each of whom were able to settle their cases.


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