William Mayne, David Trainer

On the day that the changes to the Vetting and Disclosure system were announced, two relevant cases were highlighted. William Mayne, the author who abused his relationships with children after meeting them in schools, and Brixton photographer David Trainer.

David Trainer was convicted of sexually abusing young girls in south London on Wednesday. He attacked girls aged between six and 12, in the 1980s, either while babysitting or while taking them swimming in Brixton.  The Metropolitan Police said children from the Loughborough Estate in Brixton often visited his flat, indicating that he must have built a relationship of trust with them first. 

Trainer, nicknamed “Bungie”, whose work has been displayed in the Tate Modern and who used to work in children’s television, was jailed for eight years on Wednesday. Detectives believe he molested other children and are urging any victims to come forward. 

Criminologist Mark Williams-Thomas highlighted the William Mayne case in his interviews on the BBC.  An article in The Times in 2004 gave details of the case, during the trial that saw him imprisoned for 2 and a half years: 

“A Children’s author committed a series of sex acts on eight young girls who were fascinated by his fantasy stories. It was alleged that William Mayne befriended the awe-struck children and gained the trust of their families before subjecting his victims, aged between 6 and 16, to numerous attacks during the 1960s and 1970s.   A jury at Teesside Crown Court was told that Mr Mayne, 76, who also worked for BBC Television, had three homes in North Yorkshire and London which became open houses for children.

Some first made contact with him after writing fan letters in which they told the award-winning author how much they admired his work.  Mr Mayne gave them rides in his Bentley, wrote them poems, taught them photography and drawing and let them play on his piano, the court was told. Sometimes he included them in his stories….”