Gardenia Sun Club: Nudist Club Owners Operate ‘A Paedophile Club’

[Nudist] Woman sued for 'not halting child abuser'
By Rajeev Syal - Daily Telegraph
24th October 1999

THE business partner of a convicted paedophile is being sued for allegedly "turning a blind eye" to child abuse. Mabel Cotton is accused of knowing that Lauchlan Ashcroft abused children at a nudist colony they ran together - and failed to intervene. If the case is successful, it will allow thousands of victims to sue adults who have allowed child abuse to occur after witnessing suspicious behaviour by paedophiles. Peter Garsden of ACAL was asked to make a comment for this article.

Dennis v Ashcroft

High Court, London
Tuesday 27 March, 2001

A father of three whose life has been blighted by horrific sexual abuse he suffered when living at a nudist colony has been awarded more than £50,000 compensation by a top judge.
     Jeffrey Dennis, now 39, endured years of ‘sheer terror’ at the hands of Lauchlan Ashcroft, joint owner of the Gardenia Sun Club in St Albans, who is now serving a seven-year prison sentence.
     Aged just 11 when the abuse began in 1972, Mr Dennis was the victim of what amounted to ‘a paedophile club’ in which Ashcroft and others used him as a sexual toy, said Judge Alistair MacDuff.
     ‘He estimates that he was abused approximately a thousand times by this man over a period of six years or so.’
     ‘The abuse became almost a daily occurrence. He was orally raped and he was buggered on a number of occasions’, the judge told London's High Court.
     ‘This young man went to hell and back throughout his teens.’
     The judge said Mr Dennis' parents - who had no idea of what was going on - became members of the club in 1971 and Ashcroft allowed the family to station its mobile home on the premises. Mr Dennis spent almost all of his time naked.
     He did not complain to police until 1996 and it was two years later, in July 1998, that Ashcroft was jailed for seven years for a number of sex crimes at St Albans Crown Court.
     Awarding Mr Dennis £51,208 damages plus £1,500 interest against Ashcroft, Judge MacDuff told the court: ‘Anybody who has heard Jeffrey Dennis' evidence cannot fail to be moved by that which he endured in those formative years of his life.’
   He had been ‘repeatedly sexually abused’ by Ashcroft and a number of his friends and associates ‘in what was, looked at retrospectively, a paedophile club’, he added.
   He said Ashcroft's behaviour had been ‘by far the worst, both in quantity and in terms of the abuse which he perpetrated.’
   ‘Having groomed Mr Dennis with the aid of his friends and having been friendly with him, as time went on Ashcroft became more aggressive and the sexual abuse less caring, if abuse of this kind can ever be described as caring.’
   ‘I should really have used the phrase more violent.’
   The judge described the abuse as ‘wicked’ and there was no doubt it had ‘blighted’ Mr Dennis' life. He was entitled to compensation for his pain and suffering and for the ‘sheer terror and horrible time he went through’, he added.
   Whenever he dared to resist Ashcroft, he was ‘pushed and slapped and threatened with more violence’.
   The judge went on: ‘It is clear in my judgment that Ashcroft's wicked behaviour caused the blight over Mr Dennis' life.’
   Mr Dennis, a former painter and decorator, who appeared in court with his wife Barbara, suffers from ME and has been unable to work since the early 1990s.
   He suffered acute emotional and psychological injuries as a result of all he suffered at Ashcroft's hands.
   Speaking outside court, Mr Dennis said he was ‘very relieved’ by the outcome of the case.
   He said he wished to waive his right to anonymity to encourage other abuse victims to come forward and not to suffer in silence. ‘The abuse is part of my life; I am happy for people to know my story.’
   Mr Dennis added that he had been ‘too terrified’ at the time to tell his parents or anybody else about the abuse. His family did not discover the truth until he complained to police in 1996.
   ‘I felt that what was happening to me was wrong, but I did not know that it was wrong at the time. I did not know that I could tell anyone; I was just too frightened.’
   ‘Ashcroft used to threaten to beat me up; he used to threaten to kill my parents’, he added.
   Mr Dennis said he later took solace in drinking heavily and also at one point turned to drugs because of the trauma he suffered.
   The abuse, he added, had also badly affected his relationship with his three children, the eldest being a girl aged 10.
   ‘It is only in the last year that I have been able to cuddle her because you read in the papers that paedophiles are often people who have been abused themselves.’
   ‘I was terrified of getting near my children; it is only in the last year that I have been able to do that.’
   ‘If you talk to my wife, she'll tell you that I will not be left alone with them because of my own fears.’
   Mr Dennis said that, after undergoing counselling himself, he was now training to do the same for other abuse victims.
   Ashcroft, who the court heard has assets against which the damages award can be enforced, was also ordered to pay the action's legal costs.

[Do you know of men in the US who traveled to this camp on a regular basis? Let us know. Nikki Craft]