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Press releases archive

 

Convicted child sex offender Duncan Grant returns to the UK

14th December 2011

A convicted child sex offender, Duncan Grant, has today returned to the UK after serving a sentence for sexually abusing children at an orphanage that he ran in India.

Duncan Grant and fellow Briton, Allan Waters, were found guilty of sexual abuse at the Anchorage Orphanage in Mumbai in 2006, which Grant set up for street children in 1995. Grant had run the orphanage with funds raised in the UK under a separate charity.

ECPAT UK has been monitoring this case since the 1990s when the first allegations of sexual abuse were made by children at the orphanage for homeless boys.

ECPAT UK is urgently calling on the UK Government to respond to the threat that Grant, now free from prison, poses to children both in Britain and overseas.

It is imperative that Grant is ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and is subject to an immediate Foreign Travel Order, which would ban him from all international travel.

Christine Beddoe, Director of ECPAT UK, said: “Duncan Grant has been on our radar for the best part of 20 years. After a long and protracted campaign for justice, the child victims that he abused in India won their legal battle for justice earlier this year. Now, after serving his sentence, Grant is free to return to the UK and abroad.

“The Government must not underestimate the risk that Grant poses to children. His previous convictions and travel patterns clearly demonstrate that he must be monitored closely and the only way to do this is to ban him from international travel and have him remain in the UK where he can be placed on the Sex Offenders Register.”

Earlier this year, ECPAT UK released its report Off the Radar – Protecting Children from British Sex Offenders who Travel, which called for improved international cooperation between countries and jurisdictions, so that child sex offenders, such as Grant, are better monitored to prevent repeat offending and to ensure quick and reliable prosecutions.

In the 2008 report Return to Sender: British sex offenders abroad – why more must be done, ECPAT UK urged the UK Government to make use of Foreign Travel Orders in order to protect children from travelling sex offenders. It said: “UK law enforcement agencies are not using Foreign Travel Orders, the key tool available to them to prevent re-offending abroad.”

Background


Charges were first laid against Grant and Waters in 2001 but the pair were back in the UK at that time. In 2002, Indian police issued international arrest warrants but Grant was able to travel from the UK to Kenya and Tanzania where he successfully set up more orphanages.

Despite the Interpol Red Corner Notice for his arrest, Grant travelled to these countries, and others, and was never apprehended.

Waters was finally arrested in 2003 while visiting Bermuda via the US and deported to India.

The Indian government requested that Tanzania extradite Grant to face charges but in 2005 this failed as there was no extradition treaty between India and Tanzania. After this, Grant was deported to the UK but British police failed to arrest him on his arrival. Later that year, he voluntarily returned to Mumbai to challenge the charges against him.

In 2006, Duncan Grant and Alan Waters were found guilty of charges of sodomy and assault, fined $35,000 each and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for the sexual abuse of children at the Anchorage Orphanage in Mumbai.


However, in 2008, the Bombay High Court acquitted both men of their 2006 convictions, following an appeal, citing lack of evidence by the prosecution – failing to recognise the children’s testimonies of abuse.

Lawyers for the victims applied to the Supreme Court of Mumbai to overturn the appeal. Finally, in March of this year, the Supreme Court allowed the children’s appeal and the perpetrators returned to prison in India.


PRESS CONTACT
Christine Beddoe, Director, ECPAT UK
Tel: 07906 341 889

Information for editors:
-     ECPAT UK (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children) is a leading UK children’s rights organisation that exists to end the commercial exploitation of children. We focus on protecting children from both trafficking and exploitation in tourism. This is done by campaigning, providing training, and working with other NGOs and professionals from around the world. We also work directly with child victims of both sexual and labour exploitation by helping them recover and giving them a voice to speak out

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