Willy Gillham - Palmerston House - jailed for 15 years for non recent abuse offences

A former staff member at a Hampshire children’s home charged with non-recent child sex offences has today (Friday 6 October) been jailed for 15 years, following an investigation by Hampshire Constabulary’s Operation Marmion.

Willy John Gillham, 64, of Rue des Fours Ecoine, Deux-Sèvres, France, was found guilty of four counts of serious sexual offences against a boy under the age of 16, following a trial by jury at Southampton Crown Court.

The court heard that Gillham had committed offences including rape and indecent assault at the former Palmerston House children’s home on Botley Road, Romsey, during the 1980s.

The home had already closed down prior to the investigation conducted by Hampshire Constabulary's Operation Marmion team.

Gillham was given an 18 month term of imprisonment for indecent assault, and a 15 year prison sentence for three counts of rape, to run concurrently. He will serve a minimum of 7 years before being considered for parole.

If you, or a loved one, have been affected by sexual abuse at the hands of Willy Gillham, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced lawyers who will be happy to speak to you about whether it may be possible to bring an abuse claim.

Below is a selection of organisations/instutions/bodies we are frequently instructed to pursue.


  • Private schools, boarding schools, local authority schools, closed schools, hospital schools.


  • The Scouts Association, St Johns Ambulance, MIND, the Children’s Society, Barnados.

Private companies

  • Football trainers, judo teachers, dance instructors, swimming instructors, holiday activity centres, nurseries, youth clubs.

Local Authorities/Ministry of Defence

  • County Councils, Borough Councils, City Councils, ILEA, cadets, navy/ army (forces).

National Health Service Trusts/Commissioning Boards/GPs

  • Hospitals, Disability care centres, children’s care providers.


  • Convicted perpetrators, acquitted perpetrators.

Children’s Homes

  • Respite care, full time children’s home, part-time children’s homes.

Religious Institutions

  • Roman Catholic Church, United Synagogue, Sisters of Nazareth, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Brothers Order.

Foster Carers

  • Permanent carers, temporary carers

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