Child abuse racket busted in BritainNovember 27th, 2010 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Police in Britain have busted a racket in which a gang of paedophiles sexually abused at least 30 girls as young as five years, a media report said Saturday.
Though the Operation Lakeland was launched after suspicions were raised by one of the victim’s parents, and police managed to halt the ring’s activities when they arrested gang leader John Barrett in December 2007, reporting restrictions were only lifted Friday, the Daily Express reported.
A kitchen fitter named James Machin, 54, was jailed Friday. Five others who had groomed and abused two of the girls from the ages of five and seven are already behind bars.
They include Barrett, 49, John Wrey, 55, Alan Wills, 46, Derek Shepherd, 63, and Mark Cox, 43.
While Barrett was sentenced to 14 years’ jail in 2008, Wrey got five and a half years and Wills was jailed for 16 years. The jail terms of Shepherd and Cox were not known.
Detective Inspector Simon Snell of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “They are despicable, horrible, nasty individuals who preyed on vulnerable young children.”
“My heart goes out to those children. I don’t think they will ever get over this absolutely appalling abuse. They are all at different stages in their recovery from this awful, traumatic situation. Some of them may get over it, but my personal view is that they will never forget for the rest of their lives,” he said.
The gang passed the girls around between themselves, leaving messages for each other in public toilets. The children were sometimes forced to sniff drugs during their ordeals, police said.
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Tags: alan wills, britain london, child abuse, cornwall police, daily express, detective inspector, different stages, friday five, gang leader, half years, jail terms, john barrett, lakeland, machin, mark cox, personal view, public toilets, snell, suspicions, traumatic situation