A CHILDREN'S care home worker has been found guilty of a string of historic sex offences on vulnerable young boys who trusted him.

Bruce McLean, of Runcorn Road, Moore, denied 33 offences of indecent assault, buggery and attempted buggery against eight boys aged seven to 14 between 1974 and 1991.

But following a four-week trial at Chester Crown Court, the jury found the 62-year-old guilty of 19 counts of indecent assault against three boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on 14 further counts made by the other alleged victims after deliberating on the evidence since Tuesday.

The Crown Prosecution Service is now considering whether a retrial will go ahead.

A hearing will take place at Chester Crown Court next Thursday where a decision will be made.

The alleged abuse happened when McLean worked at the Taxal Edge Children's Home in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, from 1975 to 1978 and then at Kilrie Children's Home in Knutsford, Cheshire, from 1979.

During the trial, a jury heard that McLean used his connections at Manchester United to groom his victims throughout his time working at both care homes.

McLean was previously convicted of 10 counts of indecent assault in 1997 following an investigation into Kilrie Children's Home. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

During that trial, McLean maintained he was innocent of the 10 offences he was later convicted of in more than two decades ago.

Lawyers acting on behalf of one of the victims who was subjected to horrific abuse by the former care worker in the 70s will launch legal action against those responsible for his care, it was confirmed today.

Legal action will be taken against Cheshire East County Council and The Together Trust - formerly The Boys and Girls Welfare Society,

Specialist abuse law expert Peter Garsden, from Simpson Millar Solicitors, said: “This is just the tip of the iceberg.

"This care worker repeatedly targeted the most vulnerable. He ruled with impunity for nearly three decades. With the amount of ex pupils who gave evidence against him shows how prolific an offender he actually was.

"Many of the victims are now in their fifties with families of their own and have been living with this guilty secret all their lives.

"But now that there has been justice in court they can start planning their future with some closure. And for others there is a chance to take action for what he has done to them. It is time to stop suffering in silence.

“If anyone else knows anything about the case or was at either of the homes, I am appealing for them to come forward.

"We can help victims get the specialist care and advice they need to cope with the abuse long term. This cruel individual has now got his comeuppance and it is time for victims to heal past wounds at the hands of this cruel individual."