Children’s home manager dies before trial for 101 sex offence allegations

Don Grasty appearing at Worthing Magistrates' Court in February. Pictures: Eddie Mitchell
Don Grasty appearing at Worthing Magistrates' Court in February. Pictures: Eddie Mitchell

A 94-year-old man has died before he could stand trial for 14 historic sex offence charges.

Don Grasty was a manager of Old Rectory Childrens’ Home in Singleton, where it was alleged he sexually abused five boys 101 times.

The home has long since closed and police stressed that any management or occupants of the address since that time have no connection with the case.

Grasty was due to appear in court alongside co-defendant John Webber, who owned the care home at the time.

However the Crown Prosecution service confirmed that the case has been discontinued because of Grasty’s death.

Grasty, of Beach Road, Selsey, had been charged with 14 offences.

They included: Ten of indecent assault, three of gross indecency, and one of serious sexual assault.

When he first appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court the court list detailed the 14 charges, which allegedly involved at least 101 incidents.

Police said almost all the charges involved multiple incidents, against five boys.

Webber, 77, from Brighton, faces 12 charges in total: Seven of indecent assault, two of gross indecency and three of serious sexual assault.

Almost all of these charges involve multiple incidents, allegedly committed against five boys, police said.

Webber is still expected to face a jury and is due to appear at Lewes Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday.