A FORMER care home manager has admitted sexually abusing 12 boys at homes in Wirral and South London.

Hotel owner Michael John Carroll pleaded guilty to 35 charges between November 1964 and June 1982 involving boys aged eight to 15.

The offences, involving indecent assault and indecency with a child, also include buggery of three boys, the youngest aged eight, and attempted buggery of three other boys.

Nine of the victims were resident at the Wirral home and the final three at a home in Lambeth.

A further 41 charges, involving these 12 victims and two further complainants - a boy and a girl - are to be laid on the file. Carroll, who owns the Hand Hotel in Chirk, North Wales, denied these charges.

Mr Timothy Holroyde, QC, prosecuting, said the guilty pleas were acceptable to the Crown and were specimens of a course of conduct by Carroll at St Edmund's Orphanage in Bebington, between 1964 and 1978, and Highland Road Children's Home in Lambeth between 1980 and 1982.

Balding Carroll, aged 50, of Plascerrig, Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, leaned on the rail of the dock at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, checking the indictment before entering his pleas.

Allegations of gross indecency and indecent assault on a 23-year-old employee of the Chirk Hotel which Carroll denies, were also to be laid on the file, said Mr Holroyde.

But the Crown wanted time to consider their position in relation to charges of alleged rape against two young girls, which Carroll has denied, he said.

Carroll was arrested as part of Merseyside Police's wide-ranging investigation into institutionalised child abuse code-named Operation Care.

Carroll worked at St Edmund's until 1978 before taking up work as deputy officer in charge at Highland Road Children's Home.

Carroll's counsel, Mr Neil Flewill, said that Carroll knew there was no other form of sentence than custody.

Carroll was further remanded in custody for the preparation of reports and sentence on Friday, July 30.

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