By Emma Bartholomew
An Islington police officer who raped a teenage girl in the ’70s has been jailed for 17-and-a-half years.
Paul Kenneth Lamb, 73, of York, was found guilty of 19 sex offences at Hull Crown Court on May 7, following historical allegations of child abuse.
Lamb had previously pleaded guilty to charges relating to indecent images found on his digital device.
The charges were brought against Mr Lamb as part of an investigation into offences which took place during the 1970s in Islington, and in the 1980s in Yorkshire, when he ran a care home.
At the time of his offences in the ’70s, Lamb is understood to have been living in police accommodation in Caledonian Road and the victim was supposed to have been being looked after in a council-run children’s home.
Det Supt Phil Gadd said: “I am pleased Lamb was found guilty for his sickening and incomprehensible actions against vulnerable victims and that he will now serve a very long time behind bars.”
He commended Lamb’s victims for their “bravery and perseverance” throughout the long investigative process.
“They have displayed dignity and courage throughout this incredibly difficult time as their patience and understanding has been invaluable whilst we built a strong case against Lamb.
“They have had to carry with them the trauma of his criminal actions since their childhood and I sincerely hope that they are now able to feel some sense of justice has been achieved and they can look to hopefully move forward knowing he is in prison where he belongs.
The Islington Survivors Network (ISN), which supports people who were abused in council-run homes and foster care between the ’60s and ’90s, reported the Islington crime to the Met four years ago.
They are concerned that the case against Lamb wasn’t brought sooner, and claim they were told by officers in 2018 that Lamb couldn’t be traced.
But a spokesperson for the Met said the investigation had been passed to Humberside police “as they were conducting an investigation into a number of linked offences relating to the suspect who had moved to that area”.
Former Islington council social worker Liz Davies, who founded ISN, said: “We are relieved that Paul Lamb can no longer harm children. He had access to an Islington children’s home where the children should have been safe.
“At that time paedophiles had taken over the Islington homes in a systematic way and hundreds of children suffered the horrors of sexual and physical abuse and neglect.”
She added: “ISN is delighted that at last this serial abuser has been brought to justice, and glad to have helped police in their investigations, both in London and Hull.
“We are however deeply angry that Lamb was only able to abuse children across Britain for so long because in Islington, where he abused children long before Hull, council and social services covered up the vile abuse in its children’s homes.
“For decades it protected the many paedophiles who ran or worked in its homes, or, like Lamb, were allowed freely to visit them and prey on the children there.
“They got away with this despite the many attempts by victims, whistle blowers and campaigners since the 1990s to expose these paedophile rings and protect children in care.
“We wish all the victims find peace now – they have been immensely courageous and the Hull police listened and heard and acted with caring and sensitivity.”
Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council – which is currently consulting on whether to pay survivors of abuse who lived in its care homes a support payment of £8,000, without having to bring a civil compensation claim – said: “Abuse of children in Islington’s care homes was the worst chapter in the council’s history, and we are deeply sorry for the council’s past failure to protect vulnerable children.
“We strongly believe any new allegations or evidence of crime relating to non-recent child abuse should be reported to the police, so prosecutions can be successfully brought.
“We ask anyone with information about non-recent abuse to come forward and contact police so allegations or evidence of abuse can be properly investigated.
“The council today is a very different organisation from in the 1960s-1990s, and today protecting children from harm is its top priority.”