UK cops smash paedophile ring that sexually abused 2 young girls

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London, Nov 27 (ANI): A paedophile ring in Britain that repeatedly subjected two young girls to sickening sexual abuse for nearly three years has been smashed by the police.

Convicted paedophile John Barrett, who was the gang leader, had groomed the two girls with cigarettes and then passed them on to other men to be abused.

Police discovered the ring when they arrested Barrett in December 2007 and a complex investigation, called Operation Lakeland, began to identify the other men involved, but details were not released until all were caught.

Father-of-two James Machin, 54, a kitchen fitter, who was another member of the gang, was found guilty of a string of sexual offences against the two girls and he will be sentenced on November 29.

Barrett, 49, a builder from Camborne, and John Wrey, 55, from Hayle, were both convicted of a string of sexual offences against young girls in 2008, and the former was jailed for 14 years, while the latter was given a five-and-a-half year sentence.

Other men arrested as part of the Operation Lakeland inquiry, Derek Shepherd, 63, Alan Wills, 46, and Mark Cox, 43, also received prison sentences.

During Machin's trial, prosecutor Jonathan Barnes said the man had taken the girls, one aged five and the other aged seven, to an empty holiday cottage to repeatedly abuse them.

"This case is not about what John Barrett did in abusing these girls in an abominable way," the Telegraph quoted Barnes as saying.

"He not only sexually abused these girls, he made both girls available to be abused by other paedophiles. The Crown's case against the defendant is that he was one of the other paedophiles involved.

"It is a distressing picture.

"Mr Barrett had introduced these girls to 'Joe', who we say is Mr Machin, and that Joe had sexually abused the two girls in various ways," he stated.

The matter came to light when Barrett was confronted by the parents of one of the girls accusing him of offering her cigarettes. He denied any wrongdoing but was arrested by the police.

The girls were interviewed and later disclosed Barrett and other men had sexually abused them.

Machin, who was finally arrested in June 2009, tried to cover his tracks by steam cleaning the inside of his black Mercedes van and trying to wipe the hard drives of two of his laptop computers, which contained large quantities of child pornography.

Machin, of North Parade, Falmouth, Cornwall, denied a total of 10 charges, alleged to have been committed between January 1 2005 and June 3 2009 but was convicted by the jury.

They was one count of conspiracy to commit sexual offences against two girls under 13, three counts of rape, five counts of making indecent photographs and one count of possession of indecent photographs. (ANI)

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