Sun Club: Nudist Club Owners Operate ‘A Paedophile Club’
[Nudist] Woman sued for 'not halting child abuser'
By Rajeev Syal - Daily Telegraph
24th October 1999
THE business partner of a convicted
paedophile is being sued for allegedly "turning
a blind eye" to child abuse. Mabel Cotton is accused of knowing
that Lauchlan Ashcroft abused children at a nudist
colony they ran together - and failed to intervene.
If the case is successful, it will allow thousands
of victims to sue adults who have allowed child abuse
to occur after witnessing suspicious behaviour by
paedophiles. Peter Garsden of ACAL was asked to make
a comment for this article. --childabuselawyers.com
Dennis v Ashcroft
High Court, London
Tuesday 27 March, 2001
A father of three whose life has been blighted by horrific
sexual abuse he suffered when living at a nudist colony
has been awarded more than £50,000
compensation by a top judge.
Jeffrey Dennis, now 39, endured
years of ‘sheer terror’ at
the hands of Lauchlan Ashcroft, joint owner of the Gardenia
Sun Club in St Albans, who is now serving a seven-year
Aged just 11 when the abuse began in 1972, Mr Dennis
was the victim of what amounted to ‘a paedophile club’ in
which Ashcroft and others used him as a sexual toy, said
Judge Alistair MacDuff.
‘He estimates that he was abused approximately
a thousand times by this man over a period of six years or so.’
‘The abuse became almost a daily occurrence. He was orally raped
and he was buggered on a number of occasions’, the judge told
London's High Court.
‘This young man went to hell and back throughout
The judge said Mr Dennis' parents - who had no idea
of what was going on - became members of the club in
1971 and Ashcroft allowed the family to station its mobile home on the premises.
Mr Dennis spent almost all of his time naked.
He did not complain to police until
1996 and it was two years later, in July 1998, that Ashcroft was jailed for seven
years for a number of sex crimes at St Albans Crown Court.
Awarding Mr Dennis £51,208 damages plus £1,500 interest
against Ashcroft, Judge MacDuff told the court: ‘Anybody who has
heard Jeffrey Dennis' evidence cannot fail to be moved
by that which he endured in those formative years of his
He had been ‘repeatedly sexually abused’ by Ashcroft
and a number of his friends and associates ‘in what was, looked at
retrospectively, a paedophile club’, he added.
He said Ashcroft's
behaviour had been ‘by far the worst, both
in quantity and in terms of the abuse which he perpetrated.’
groomed Mr Dennis with the aid of his friends and having
been friendly with him, as time went on Ashcroft became more aggressive and the
sexual abuse less caring, if abuse of this kind can ever be described as caring.’
should really have used the phrase more violent.’
The judge described the abuse as ‘wicked’ and there was
no doubt it had ‘blighted’ Mr Dennis' life. He was entitled
to compensation for his pain and suffering and for the ‘sheer
terror and horrible time he went through’, he added.
he dared to resist Ashcroft, he was ‘pushed and slapped
and threatened with more violence’.
The judge went on: ‘It
is clear in my judgment that Ashcroft's wicked behaviour
caused the blight over Mr Dennis' life.’
Mr Dennis, a former painter and
decorator, who appeared in court with his wife Barbara,
suffers from ME and has been unable to work since the early 1990s.
acute emotional and psychological injuries as a result of all he suffered at
Speaking outside court, Mr Dennis said he was ‘very relieved’ by
the outcome of the case.
He said he wished to waive his
right to anonymity to encourage other abuse victims to come forward and not to
suffer in silence. ‘The
abuse is part of my life; I am happy for people to know
Mr Dennis added that he had been ‘too terrified’ at
the time to tell his parents or anybody else about the abuse. His family
did not discover the truth until he complained to police
‘I felt that what was happening to me was wrong, but I did
not know that it was wrong at the time. I did not know that
I could tell anyone; I was just too frightened.’
‘Ashcroft used to threaten to beat me up; he used to threaten
to kill my parents’, he added.
Mr Dennis said he later took solace
in drinking heavily and also at one point turned to drugs
because of the trauma he suffered.
The abuse, he added, had also badly affected
his relationship with his three children, the eldest being a girl aged 10.
is only in the last year that I have been able to cuddle her because you read
in the papers that paedophiles are often people who have been abused themselves.’
was terrified of getting near my children; it is only in the last year that I
have been able to do that.’
‘If you talk to my wife, she'll tell you
that I will not be left alone with them because of my own fears.’
said that, after undergoing counselling himself, he was now training to do the
same for other abuse victims.
Ashcroft, who the court heard has assets against
which the damages award can be enforced, was also ordered to pay the action's
[Do you know of men in the US who
traveled to this camp on a regular basis? Let
us know. Nikki Craft]
BACK TO NUDIST/NATURIST HALL OF SHAME