Gender

British Man Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Three Minor Boys at Delhi Home for Blind

The NGO said the accused was someone they trusted as he had been visiting the school for 10 months, donating books and helping the children with their studies.

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Students in Ahmedabad hold candles as they pray during a candlelight vigil on December 31, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave

New Delhi: A 54-year-old British man was arrested and sent to custody on Monday for allegedly sexually assaulting three minor boys, who are visually impaired, at the National Association for the Blind, a NGO in South Delhi’s R.K. Puram.

According to the police, the accused, Murray Denis Ward, has been in India since October last year. He was taken into custody in his rented accommodation in Vasant Kunj on Sunday after an employee of the NGO found him abusing the boys in the dormitory, reported the Hindustan Times.

The employee who caught him, recorded a video on his mobile phone before informing the NGO’s management. The video is now evidence against Ward, who has denied the charge, the police told Hindustan Times.

“We received a call from the school on Sunday afternoon, following which we arrested Ward. In their complaint, it came to light that the children are 14-15 years old. A case has been registered under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. Ward was produced before a city court Monday, which sent him to police custody for two days,” deputy commission of police (south) Ishwar Singh told the Indian Express. The British High Commission had been informed of Ward’s arrest, the police said.

In its complaint, the NGO has alleged that Ward was at the school for two-three hours and “took the boys to the hostel and sexually assaulted them.” In a statement, the NGO said: “On Saturday, September 2 evening, our staff spotted a regular volunteer sitting in an objectionable position with a few children. Our staff asked the person to leave immediately and informed the management on the phone, since the office had closed. The senior management met on Sunday morning and after verifying all the facts, informed the police. The police have since arrested the accused for child sexual abuse,” said the Indian Express.

Chinmoy Biswal, additional deputy joint commission of police (south), told Hindustan Times that the police had found “objectionable material” on the accused’s laptop. “Initial investigation reveals he is a paedophile,” he said.

Singh told the Indian Express that Ward had started going to the school about 10 months ago and donated books and other items. The NGO said that being a charitable organisation, they had to depend on donors and volunteers, and Ward was somebody they trusted. He offered to help the children with their studies and English communication, and used to visit a few times a month.

The police said Ward was from Gloucestershire in the UK and had been working in a firm in Gurgaon until he had a paralytic attack in February this year. He has been undergoing treatment since then.