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Answers demanded by relatives after Gloucestershire care home rapist Colin Stokes is jailed

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

Colin Stokes

RELATIVES of victims of care home rapist Colin Stokes are demanding answers from an inquiry after they saw him put behind bars for 14 years yesterday.

They sat just a handful of steps away from Stokes, sobbing as details of his shocking attacks on three women with learning disabilities were read to Gloucester Crown Court.

And for the first time they heard that Stokes had been quizzed in 1997 over an allegation he had exposed himself to a care home resident - it was not reported to police .

The Safeguarding Adults Board has been asked by Gloucestershire County Council to carry out a serious case review, which will also look at why Stokes was allowed to work on at the home after being arrested over a similar allegation but not charged, in 2007.

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“There are so many questions which need to be answered,” said the dad of one of the victims. “So many more things need to come out - when we heard in court about the incident in 1997, that was the first time we knew about it.”

The review will also have to look at why the care home, which cannot be named to protect the identities of the victims, only had one person on night shifts.

Cost cutting was behind the move, prosecutor Sarah Regan told the court - and it gave Stokes, 48, the opportunity to prey on women who needed 24 hour care.

“Extra money was paid to have another person on duty at night but they weren’t there,” said the man, who cannot be named. “I even stayed late one night to see if they would turn up and was told they were at another home and they’d be over later. They didn’t arrive.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said the decision not to charge Stokes in 2007 was down to a lack of corroboration - but that has changed since.

Stokes, of St George’s Road, Dursley, was given a whole sentence of 20 years - 14 will be in prison, with an additional extended licence period of six years. He will serve 14 years unless after 10 years a parole board consider he can be released. He will remain on the sex offender register for life.

A statement issued by police on behalf of the victims’ families read: “Stokes was in a position of trust – he was there to look after and protect these women. Not only did he betray that trust in their own home; he turned out to be a monster.

“We would like to thank the police for the sensitive way they have handled this. But the fact is – this should never have happened.

“At the heart of this case are members of our family – sisters and daughters – and hearing about their suffering at the hands of Stokes has broken our hearts.

“We are relieved that he is now behind bars and can’t hurt anyone else. Our families will now try and move on from this and make sure the victims in this case have a safe and happy future.”

The owner of the home, who no longer provides care there, could not be contacted for comment.

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