Indian police arrest British man accused of sexually abusing blind children
The accused will face a minimum 10 years in prison if convicted (Representative Image: Pixabay) Photograph: (Others)
Indian police on Monday arrested a 54-year-old British man after three young boys at a hostel for visually challenged children in Delhi filed allegations of sexual assault against him. All three boys are aged between 12 and 14.
Reports said the police had found "objectionable photos of 15-20 children from the laptop of the British national". The man's laptop and phone was confiscated by cyber cell sleuths.
He was arrested on charges of sodomy.
"The arrested British national Murray Ward has been in India since last October," said Ishwar Singh, deputy commissioner of Delhi police.
"We have charged him under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act", Singh added, saying Ward was being held in police custody for further investigation.
Ward is likely to face a minimum 10 years in jail if convicted.
No comment was immediately available from the British High Commission in New Delhi.
Police said the man was a senior manager at an Indian company before quitting his job in April. He is married and has a family living in the United Kingdom.
Singh said he frequented the hostel in Delhi sometimes as often as once per week, and police were investigating his motivations and online activity.
The British national gained access to the hostel after donating to the parent organisation that ran the school. He also offered to teach English as a part-time teacher.
The school authorities claim that the boys had refused to attend Ward's class. When counselled, they confessed that the British native would call them one by one to his table and would touch them in private parts.
"It appears he is a pedophile based on (the content of) his laptop, mobile and personal chat history," Singh said, without elaborating.
Police will assign a psychologist to speak with the boys who filed the complaints -- whose ages and identities have not been disclosed.
Authorities will interrogate other students at the hostel, that houses and educates approximately 170 visually-impaired children. The hostel is located in South Delhi's RK Puram.