Adults in sex ring 'abused own children': Victims 'threatened with shotguns and knives'

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The Independent Online
VICTIMS of a paedophile sex ring were threatened with drowning, shotguns and knives to stop them talking about their horrific experiences, a court was told yesterday.

A 13-year-old boy regularly abused by his father, as well as other men, was dropped into the sea from a boat as a warning. Other children were tied up or had knives held to their throats before being forced to commit indecent acts.

Gerard Elias QC, for the prosecution, told Swansea Crown Court: 'Children were used and abused without regard to their wishes, their health or their screams of terror or disgust.'

Eleven men and a woman face a total of 42 charges following a Dyfed-Powys police and social services investigation into alleged child sex abuse spanning four years to August 1991.

The court was told of ritual group sex sessions in an isolated barn in west Wales, in which adults wore only wigs and cloaks. Men were 'allocated' teenage boys, who were ordered to strip and subjected to serious sexual assault, it was alleged.

'Some parents embarked upon these practices with enthusiasm from the beginning, bringing their own children to be victims of the most depraved and revolting conduct imaginable,' Mr Elias said.

He said 'chilling' evidence was unravelled by police and social services as the embarrassed and frightened children were interviewed.

A picture emerged of unbearably painful physical and mental abuse 'carried out with a degree of degradation by adults that almost defies belief'.

Thirteen children, from toddlers to teenagers, were taken into local authority care after the police began the investigation.

A girl of two was ferried by tractor to sheds and barns for sex sessions arranged by the adults, the court was told. Children were sometimes put in a vehicle inspection pit during the abuse.

The judge, Mr Justice Kay, made an order banning publication of any details which might lead to the children being identified.

Two mothers who lived in fear of one defendant - who can only be referred to as DD - would be among those giving prosecution evidence, the court was told.

Mr Elias said one mother who refused to join in would tell the jury of one session in a locked barn where about nine boys, aged 12 to 14, were present with about 12 men and two women.

Knives and guns were produced and the boys ordered to strip.

The defendants, aged between 20 and 68, deny joint charges of conspiring to commit serious sexual assaults, indecent assaults and acts of gross indecency. Two of the men also deny buggery and gross indecency on various children.

The case continues today and is expected to last several months.