Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Man convicted of child sex assaults after victim spots him on bus

15:12 10 October 2012

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

Archant

A government researcher who abused two girls is facing jail after one of his victims recognised him on a bus after 40 years.

A government researcher who abused two girls is facing jail after one of his victims recognised him on a bus after 40 years.

Leonard Davey, a former Topsham darts player, thought the secrets of his past were long forgotten but has been found guilty of assaults going back 50 years to when he was a teenager.

Davey, aged 64, was spotted by chance by one of the two girls he abused in the 1960s and 1970s.

Moments after she recognised him the bus passed a balcony where a girl aged about five had run outside naked.

Watching as he ogled the child, she realised she had a duty to report what had happened to her years earlier.

Davey had no idea he had been recognised until he was arrested and questioned by detectives, who uncovered a completely different set of allegations when they investigated his past.

In the 35 years that Davey harboured his secret he built a life as an apparently respectable citizen, having been happily married for 24 years.

He was employed as a research assistant for the Centre for Rural Policy at Exeter University for 18 years, where he worked on statistics for Defra and the European Commission and was highly respected in his field.

He also played darts at a high level, at first in leagues in Topsham and Exeter, then representing Devon.

Davey, of Higher Wear Road, Countess Wear, Exeter, denied six indecent assaults against one girl and three against a second. He was found guilty of all the charges and remanded in custody pending sentence by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, who told him he should expect a jail sentence.

He nodded his head as the jury returned their unanimous verdicts, which were greeted with gasps of delight by the victims and their families in the public gallery.

During a four-day trial the two victims told how they were abused repeatedly, in one case when the girl visited Davey’s home, and on the other when he visited her parents and crept into her bedroom. The victim who reported him to the police said she had tried to put her childhood trauma behind her, but the chance sighting of Davey on the bus persuaded her she had to go to the police.

Davey told the jury that he had never touched that victim, but admitted sexual contact with the other girl when he was very young.

He said it happened when he was 10 or 11 and involved “doctor and nurse” games, sometimes with other children while playing on the canal bank in Exeter.

Other News Stories

Gallery:Star Wars Day

13:27
The Bennett family pose with s group of Stormtroopers at the Star Wars day at the World of Country Life on Monday. Ref exe 18-16SH 2980. Picture: Simon Horn.

Pictures at World of Country Life

Read more
14:42

A drink driver from Exmouth who killed a 20-year-old man has escaped with a fine; the court said his driving ‘had not caused the accident’.

Read more
10:33
Deer in field.

People across East Devon have been warned not to touch young deer that appear abandoned in the countryside.

Read more
09:36

Fire crews raced to tackle a malicious fire started in one of the wards at Exmouth Hospital.

Read more
President John Bellamy and his wife Ann at the Maderia bowls club spring fayre. Ref exe 16-16TI 9390. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Madeira Bowls Club is celebrating after raising more than £650 at its annual spring fayre.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
Woodbury Salterton primary school children have been involved in the RHS Rocket Science project this week. Pictured are year children from years two and six with the trays of seeds they planted. Ref exe 16-16SH 1540. Picture: Simon Horn

Primary school pupils are preparing to embark on a project of pure discovery.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Dawn Hodge's injuries

This photograph shows the bruised and bloodied face of pensioner Dawn Hodge after she fell over a loose paving stone in Exmouth.

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Ben and Tim Lupton after the London Marathon.

The challenge of the London Marathon has been met by a number of Exmouth runners

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Wildlife on the Bowling Green marshes in Topsham. Photo by Simon Horn.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has announced that renovation work has begun at its Bowling Green hide in Topsham.

Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Residents at Bay Court Nursing Home celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday. Ref exb 16-16AW 3586. Picture: Alex Walton

Residents at a Budleigh Salterton nursing home have celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications