Former Birmingham Care Home Residents Speak Out About Cruelty

Police Investigate Cruelty Allegations At St Athan Croft Children’s Home


A number of residents who spent time at the St Athan Croft children’s home in Castle Vale, Birmingham, have spoken out about the cruelty they suffered at the facility.

Many of the complaints levelled at staff date back to the 1970s and 80s and include allegations residents were beaten, thrown in cold water as punishments and forced to wash using toilet water.

The home opened in 1967 and was replaced in 2004 by Viscount House, which later closed as part of Birmingham City Council cost cutting.

Police were contacted by up to eight former residents about cruelty at the children’s home in February 2014, with allegations made against Patricia and James Connolly, the former live-in parents. 

Officers from West Midlands Police, running the investigation, could not take action because the couple are both deceased.

One former resident told the BBC children would visit at a cottage in Wales during the six-week school summer holiday, where their washing ritual would see them stripped in front of each other and blasted with a hose.

Expert Opinion
These allegations of cruelty at the St Athan Croft children’s home are extremely concerning and the top priority following the investigation is to ensure those affected by any physical and mental abuse are given the help and support they need.

“The cruelty vulnerable residents of the children’s home were exposed to could have long-term physical and psychological impacts on them and their lives, so it is important services are provided that will allow survivors to get their lives back on track.

“We welcome the investigation that has been carried out into the allegations and it is crucial any failings identified are taken into account and measures to prevent events like this taking place in the future are implemented as soon as possible.”
Luke Daniels, Partner

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