A FORMER care worker has appeared at Liverpool Crown Court facing 76 charges of child abuse.

Michael John Carroll pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing 13 boys and one girl at two children's homes in Wirral and in London.

It is claimed that the offences took place over a 20-year period between 1966 and 1986.

They allegedly involved children aged between six and 15 years old while Carroll was working at St Edmund's Orphanage in Bebington and Angel Road residential care home in Lambeth, London.

Carroll, aged 50, of Plascarrig, Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, pleaded not guilty to 49 offences of indecent assault, 15 of buggery, 10 of attempted buggery, one gross indecency and one child cruelty.

Carroll, who was arrested as part of a police investigation codenamed Operation Care, was further remanded on bail with conditions including two £25,000 sureties.

His trial, fixed to begin on July 5, is expected to last four weeks.

After the hearing Carroll's solicitor, Tony Nelson, said that in view of the recent publicity Carroll was going to transfer his licence of the Hand Hotel, Chirk, North Wales, and would no longer have day-to-day control of the hotel.

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