Girl recalls sex trafficking ordeal

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A victim of a predatory paedophile today recalled her disgust after she was repeatedly trafficked around the country and forced to have sex with different men.

The girl, now in her late teens and identified only as Imogen, was just 12 when she was targeted by the man.

After being befriended by him while living in north-east England, she was regularly taken around towns and cities and made to have sex with other paedophiles.

Imogen was taken into care as a youngster after enduring a difficult home life.

She regularly ran away from the institution with friends who would drink and smoke with older men.

She explained: "The girls in the home were all a bit older than me and were going out with older men.

"At first I just tagged along. They gave me drink and smokes - it was a laugh.

"Then one man started to take a special interest in me.

"He was much older, he was protective - I felt looked after, wanted, loved even.

"He gave me everything I wanted and when I was 13 he handed over the keys to a flat and said 'It's yours, use it when you need it'."

But the relationship took on an even more sinister tone when the man asked her to "dress up" and travel to London for a party.

Once there she was told to have sex with different "friends".

She explained: "I didn't have any choice, I felt so guilty. Eventually he'd take me all over the country: Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, London. He'd take me to hotels, some nights two or three.

"I never saw any money change hands. Some men asked 'How old is she?' - some asked 'Have you got any younger?' They were really sick."

As a 13-year-old, Imogen found it difficult to evade the clutches of the older man.

She said: "I wanted to escape, but he just controlled me - it was a mental thing, I was terrified."

But she managed to flee the life of abuse after the man was finally arrested.

She was supported by children's charity Barnardo's and, with its help returned to school. Imogen has now just enrolled at university.