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

15:12 10 October 2012

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.


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

Exeter Magistrates' Court

A mother has been banned from driving after she took her 10-year-old twins shopping when she was two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit.

Read more
DJ's Cafe on the seafront in Exmouth. Ref exe 4318-40-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A seafront business owner, who believed he could trade ‘for the foreseeable future’, was shocked to find his café boarded up without warning by district bosses.

Read more

A man has been found safe following an overnight search in Exmouth.

Read more

A gang of cunning professional thieves has been jailed after a sharp-eyed Exmouth B&Q cashier caught them red-handed.

Read more
Crwods gathered to view the Rolle proposal plans at the Ocean suite on Saturday.  Ref exe 2692-41-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Hundreds of Exmouth residents have turned out to have their say about the future of the Rolle College site.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
Sue Stoneman at chamber pizza event

Against the backdrop of a stunning blood-red sunset, viewed from the ‘mediterranean’ surroundings of the Ocean Suite, Exmouth Chamber of Commerce held another very successful networking event.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:55

Firefighters from Exmouth teamed up with the RSPCA to rescue a sick fox trapped beneath a garden shed in Colleton Close.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A woman was airlifted to hospital by air ambulance after a crash in Exmouth this morning (Wednesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 14:51
The garden at 22 Liverton Close, Exmouth.

Council tenants in Exmouth, Lympstone and Woodbury have had their gardening skills recognised in an annual contest.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7701-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) majority Conservative group is encouraging people to take part in a consultation ahead of the authority’s move from its Knowle HQ.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Exmouth

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Find planning applications