New Delhi: A 54-year-old British national working as a volunteer with an NGO for visually impaired children was arrested on the charge of sodomising three such minors in south Delhi, police said on Monday.
Booked under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, Murray Denis Ward was later sent in two-day police custody by a local court.
The police said Ward was a frequent visitor to the National Association for Blind (NAB) premises in R.K. Puram for the past 8-9 years. He used to teach English and help students in sports activities.
“We received a complaint from the NAB management on Sunday regarding sexual harassment of minor children on the NAB premises in Sector 5 of R.K. Puram. He was arrested from his flat in south Delhi’s Vasant Enclave area. Investigation revealed that he had sodomised three minor blind inmates,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh told IANS.
Ward, a resident of Henely Cottage at Ampney Crusis in the United Kingdom, had worked with a Gurgugram-based MNC till April 2017.
His mobile phone contained objectionable video clippings featuring minors, which were under investigation, the officer added.
“Ward was sent by a Patiala House court in two-day police custody. We are questioning him as to how long he had been sodomising the blind minors,” he added.
Ward had suffered a paralytic attack in February 2017 and was under treatment since then, the police officer added.
According to an NGO official, who did not wish to be named, the crime came to light around 5 p.m. on Saturday when a security guard spied Ward behaving inappropriately with three visually impaired children in a room. The guard informed senior NGO officials.
“The NGO management took the children into confidence to verify facts and decided to terminate Ward’s services immediately. Ward was asked to leave the NGO premises. The management got registered a First Information Report against Ward on Sunday,” the NAB official said.
Ward visited the non-governmental organisation premises twice a month and took evening classes in English and sports activities, he said.
A total of 170 students, including boys and girls in the age group of 3-18, stay in the NGO hostel. Of them, 100 are blind and 70 others have poor eyesight, he added.