Couple jailed for 'betrayal' of abused children

A couple committed a "deplorable and terrible betrayal of trust" against their two adopted children they allowed to be abused by paedophiles, a judge said today.

Both girls told their parents about their ordeals but nothing was done to prevent future assaults.



The mother said she could not step in because one of the paedophiles "helped them with money and a car".



The husband and wife, aged 56 and 55, who live in the Trafford borough of Greater Manchester, were convicted of child cruelty.



The adoptive father was also found guilty in August of sexually abusing the elder girl over a six-year period.



Judge Jonathan Geake sentenced the husband to nine years in jail while his wife was jailed for five years at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.



Last year, paedophiles Colin Molloy and Sam Nelson were jailed after admitting a string of sexual offences involving the two youngsters, which started when they were as young as seven and 13.



Molloy, 46, admitted nine counts of raping the younger girl. while Nelson, 43, pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with both girls.



The girls complained to their mother about the activities of Nelson and Molloy, while the father was made aware of Molloy.



Sentencing the pair, Judge Geake said: "This was a deplorable and total failure to protect those two girls from the risks posed.



"These were children adopted by you and because of their unfortunate start in life they were probably more vulnerable than other children.



"They were entitled to proper care and protection."



Both parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, relied on babysitting, lifts home and, to some extent, cash from Molloy and Nelson, the judge continued.



"You were prepared to put your own practical convenience before their safety," he said.



"This was a a deplorable and terrible betrayal of trust. No one can know how much damage this has done to these two girls both physically and psychologically."



Following sentencing, Det Sgt Charlotte Whalley, of Trafford Public Protection Investigation Unit, said: "Even though these girls had the bravery to tell an adult what was happening to them, it was allowed to continue.



"Thankfully the girls were courageous enough to report the matter to the police and all the people involved have been prosecuted for their horrendous crimes.



"We take all reports of sexual abuse very seriously, including historical abuse. There will be a full investigation and support provided to the victim throughout the whole process."



During the couple's trial, the jury was played video police interviews of the younger girl, who initially raised the alarm by telling her teacher last January.



She said Nelson had been "doing rude stuff to her" at his flat as he minded her after school while both parents were at work.



"I kept on trying to push him away but he kept on doing it," she told officers.



Nelson also played pornographic videos on his computer in her presence and masturbated to them.



When she returned home she told her parents she had been assaulted and was sore.



"My dad said, 'if he is hurting you then don't go down there', but I said if no-one is in (at home) then I have no choice," she said.



"My mum said they could not do anything because he helped them out with money and a car."



Molloy raped her under her own roof but again her mother did nothing.



Social services became involved when the allegations were made and removed the children from their home, which was said not to be fit for habitation, unkempt and unsanitary.



The two girls are now in foster care elsewhere in the area.



The couple maintained their innocence, the court was told.



Ahmed Nadim, representing the father, said his client had poor health and asked for that to be taken into account on sentencing.



He has very limited mobility, diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis, he said.



Patrick Cassidy, for the mother, said psychological reports showed she had a "lengthy history of depression" over the last 30 years.



He said: "Her periodic agoraphobic tendencies combined with anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia all point to a defendant who had less capacity to respond and less culpability even because of the situation she had with her health."



He added she already recognised the consequences of the conviction after she was displaced from her home after news of the verdict spread on her estate.



She was forced to live in a hostel for the homeless following her release on bail pending sentencing.



Mr Cassidy said that the author of her pre-sentence report concluded there was a "degree of uncaringness" from her about the girls' exposure to the paedophiles but he said he and his legal team had witnessed clear signs of distress from her and it did not appear feigned.



He questioned whether both defendants with "plain difficulties in their own lives" would have found themselves in the dock if they had not been allowed to adopt in the first place.



Judge Geake said the couple had been deemed individually and collectively as suitable to adopt the girls separately but said the reality was that "neither of you was remotely suitable or trustworthy as a parent".



Following conviction, Manchester City Council, which conducted the adoption process, said a "full assessment and proper checks" were carried out.



Pauline Newman, the council's director of children's services, said: "After this terrible case came to light we asked for our actions at the time to be independently evaluated to ensure that the correct procedures were followed - which they were.



"The sad fact is that there will always be a small minority of people who wish to hurt the most vulnerable in our society.



"In terms of adoption, we carry out very thorough checks to minimise any risk to children and to ensure prospective parents are suitable.



"The adoption process is not easy and the procedure has become even more thorough since this couple went through it.



"The vast majority of adoptive parents want to provide the best possible family for children and young people - and do a fantastic job.



"This case must not detract from that fact."

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

News

Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls

Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?