“The worst moment came just after my 16th birthday when I was drugged and gang raped by five men.”
The Sunday Mirror blew open ANOTHER child sex abuse ring in Britain. This 18-month investigation found up to 1,000 girls, as young as 11, raped, sold for sex, and even killed for over 40 years in Telford, located 146 miles southeast of London.
The Mirror reported:
- Social workers knew of abuse in the 1990s but police took a decade to launch a probe
- Council staff viewed abused and trafficked children as “prostitutes” instead of victims, according to previously unseen files
- Authorities failed to keep details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of “racism”
- Police failed to investigate one recent case five times until an MP intervened
- One victim said cops tried to stop her finding out why her abusers had not been prosecuted because they feared she would talk to us
Police conducted an inquiry into child prostitution called Operation Chalice, which led to imprisonment of seven men in 2013. A report from the local Telford and Wreckin Council that same year said that “[F]rom the late 1990s professionals had concerns about the nature of some of the child sexual abuse cases presented to them.” Nothing happened, though, due to “existing procedures” and “understanding and learning at that time.”
But people told the authorities about the abuse decades before Chalice. The Mirror found out that two pedophiles started “targeting girls at a local children’s home in 1981.” One of those “abusers earned thousands a night for years trafficking girls around the country for sex with hundreds of men, according to one victim.”
The publication spoke to 12 victims who “accused more than 70 abusers and claimed that violent rapes were still taking place just months ago.” The Mirror continued:
One 14-year-old, groomed and abused after her phone number was sold to paedophiles, said: “I hated what was happening and my abusers made my skin crawl but I was told that if I said a word to anyone they’d come for my little sisters and tell my mum I was a prostitute.
“Night after night, I was forced to have sex with multiple men in disgusting takeaways and filthy houses.
“I must have been getting the morning after pill from a local clinic at least twice a week but no one asked any questions.
“I fell pregnant twice and had two abortions. Hours after my second termination, I was taken by one of my abusers to be raped by more men.
“The worst moment came just after my 16th birthday when I was drugged and gang raped by five men.
“Days later, the ringleader turned up at my house and told me he’d burn it down if I breathed a word of what had happened.”
An 18-year-old Asian man groomed a 14-year-old girl in 1985. He passed her to his “friends to have sex with and allegedly rape her” after she had his baby:
The girl, now 47, says she reported her abuse to the council and school but does not believe action was taken.
She says her doctor said she was mentally ill and should take medication.
The vast majority of those targeted were young white girls but teenagers from the Asian community also fell victim.
The abuse scandal left at least five girls dead:
Lucy Lowe, 16, was killed in 2000 along with her mother and sister after her 26-year-old abuser Azhar Ali Mehmood set fire to their house.
Cabbie Mehmood targeted Lucy in 1997 and she was just 14 when she gave birth to his daughter.
He was jailed for murdering Lucy, her mum Eileen and 17-year-old sister Sarah.
But he was never arrested nor charged in connection with any child sex crimes over his illegal relationship with the schoolgirl.
Lucy’s death was used as a warning to other girls, according to victims. One, drugged and gang raped by nine men two years later, said the threats drove her to attempt suicide.
She said: “I was scared my family would die like Lucy’s. I thought they’d only be safe if I killed myself.”
Becky Watson died in a car crash in 2002 at the age of 13. Reports called it a prank, but it turns out an Asian grooming gang abused her for two years. Her diary spoke of “her torment at being made to ‘sleep around.’”
Her mother spoke to The Mirror about how she told the police about Becky’s abuse and even provided a suspect list:
She told the Sunday Mirror: “Girls like Becky were treated like criminals. I was crying out for help but it felt like I had nowhere to turn. If Becky’s abuse had been properly investigated by the authorities more girls could have been saved from going through this hell.”
The same gang abused Becky’s friend Vicky, who got “hooked on crack cocaine aged 12 and on heroin by 14.” She died at the age of 20 “of a drugs incident.” Her sister Emma said she has “no doubt Vicky would still be here if she hadn’t been so badly abused – yet the people who made her life hell still walk the streets.”
The Daily Mail wrote those who attempted to speak up received punishment. Police chaplain Keith Osmund-Smith was suspended when he provided the Mirror with papers along with “a report commissioned by the council revealed social workers knew of the sex crimes before the turn of the milleniun.”
One woman, employed by sex abuse charity Axis Counselling, had to “leave her role after she tried to speak up.” Apparently officials thought they’d lose funding “if she continued to criticise the police and council by suggesting they had not done enough.”
Telford’s Member of Parliament Lucy Allen demanded a public inquiry. She told The Mirror that its findings are “extremely serious and shocking.” She previously demanded an inquiry into the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal and said the same must happen “in Telford so that our community can have absolute confidence in the authorities.”
[Featured image via The Mirror.]