St Charles Youth Treatment Centre, Brentwood

St Charles Youth Treatment Centre, Brentwood

This home was the subject of a Social Services Inspectorate report in 1991 concerning the use of drug treatment by staff to control the behaviour of residents.

Public Inquiries into Abuse of Children in Residential Care; Corby, Doig and Roberts, 2001 p.81.


‘Probe at Youth Centre’, p. 11
A high level probe is underway into allegations of staff misconduct at Britain’s top centre for problem children.

The inquiry was ordered by the Health Department after two MP’s – Sir Bernard Braine (Tory, South East Essex) and Mr Peter Bottomley (Con. West Wolwich [sic] ) – had received complaints by staff at the maximum security St. Charles Youth Treatment Centre, Essex, and from the parents of a teenaged girl who claimed she was put on the pill at 15 and allowed to sleep there with her boyfriend.

The centre, which was opened six years ago in Brentwood, is staffed by a highly experienced team of teachers, youth workers and social therapists. It caters for children in the age group 10 to 18 who’ve been placed there by the courts, or by councils which have them in care.

A staff spokesman blamed the trouble on a minority of colleagues. He accused one of them of “having an affair with a girl” and said it was a “common practise for some staff to look through a peep-hole into her room while they made love.” The man had since deserted his wife and was now living with the girl.

Among other claims under investigation are (a) that boys and girls were allowed to sleep together; (b) a report of a 17 year old boy who was savagely beaten by a teacher; (c) a lesbian relationship between a staff member and a pupil; and (d) that girls were allowed to bring back ‘pick-ups’ after a night out on the town.

The centre’s Deputy Director, Mr Alan Dunton, said he was not in a position to discuss the allegations. “I am proud of our work in dealing with some of the most disturbed children in the country.”

Ian Pace


9 responses to “St Charles Youth Treatment Centre, Brentwood

  1. glen staines

    my name is glen staines i was at st charles in 1971 till 1973 i was helped a lot if i had not have been at st charles i would not been here now as i needed help at that time in my life i was 13 and very much alone

  2. Babe I remember you in house 1 . Do you remember John beljars?. Hope your happy now . My name was Alison parks . From house 1 n then 3 . X

  3. Gary Davies

    Hi all I was in house 1 then went into house 3 John beljars was one of the best staff there . Bob Melton I remember was in charge of house 1 it was hard going there I have to say and there was a staff member called Ian but can’t remember his second name had glass and a bit of a belly.

    • Graham Coutts

      House 3 in 81-83. It was the best place to be but I fcukd it up. I let a lot of people down but i let myself down the most. If u know me please contact me. Graham coutts on FB…. Are u the gary that i know from H3. Les olver, yvonne russell, karen ogorman, tracey ridgeway… kids…. staff was .phil cath john les gul and brenda. Contact me on facebook.

  4. Michael hoare

    I was there in 81-82. House two. Got treated really well even though I spent most of my time escaping. Had loads of good friends there. I often wonder how everyone has got on since leaving.

  5. Stephen Graysmark

    I was there around 1973-75… It was a shit hole. The staff were abusers, I remember spending many a day locked into a padded room in a strait Jacket ! I remember one staff member who’s name was Hazel, some of the staff were okay, but memories of the place still haunt me.

  6. Graham Coutts

    House 3 in 81-83. It was the best place to be but I fcukd it up. I let a lot of people down but i let myself down the most. If u know me please contact me. Graham coutts on FB

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