Former Preston children's home worker from Wesham denies abuse claims

A man who worked at Preston’s Harris children’s home has appeared in court accused of raping and indecently assaulting children in the 1970s.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 5:00 pm

Frederick Wilding, of Windmill View, Wesham, Preston, faces eight charges said to involve three girls, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

It is understood the 78-year-old defendant used to be a ‘house parent’ at the Lancashire County Council led home on Garstang Road.

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Harris Children's Home

The pensioner appeared for a plea and trial preparation hearing at Preston Crown Court, where he denied the allegations.

The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, adjourned the case until Wilding’s trial, which is scheduled to take place on August 10.

The orphanage was opened in early November 1888, with the first children admitted a month later, but closed in 1986.

It was calculated more than 2,200 children had been cared for within the grounds of the institution.

*Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline, in confidence, on 0808 8005000.