Demetrious Panton, a successful lawyer, was a child in Islington’s children’s homes from 1977 to the early 80s. He has tirelessly campaigned for the protection of Islington children and justice for survivors of abuse.
Demetrious was assaulted by two members of staff from the homes. In 1981, one of the abusers, Martin Ashley Saville, pleaded guilty to charges of gross indecency and indecent assault and received a 3 month suspended sentence. The other abuser was Bernie Bain, children’s home manager of 1 Elwood Street. Bain, was later convicted and imprisoned in Morocco for possession of abusive images of children and subsequently committed suicide in Thailand. Demetrious, as a child, had reported to Islington social services his abuse by Bain who was allowed to resign from his post without facing prosecution.
Demetrious was described by Margaret Hodge as an ‘extremely disturbed person’ for which, in response to his legal challenge, she had to make a formal public apology and make payment to a charity. The website spotlightonabuse.wordpress.com has archived the press coverage relating to this.
In 2003, Demetrious stood as a parliamentary candidate in Barking and Dagenham against Margaret Hodge and raised publicly her role in the cover-up of abuse within Islington children’s homes. She has since apologised about this and says she was misinformed by the managers in Islington at the time.