Five men face jail terms for child sex abuse: Paedophiles convicted after pounds 10m trial

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The Independent Online
FIVE MEN who sexually abused children aged as young as two face long jail sentences for their part in a paedophile ring. They were convicted yesterday, at the end of an eight-month trial that is estimated to have cost more than pounds 10m.

In a rare Sunday sitting, a jury at Swansea Crown Court delivered its final verdicts after spending five days considering a total of 33 charges.

The jurors had been told how children were subjected to systematic abuse after being taken to isolated barns and sheds in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. The children were threatened with guns and knives to stop them telling anyone about the attacks, but interviews by social workers gradually uncovered the story of weeping and humiliated children being passed around members of the gang.

The paedophiles, who included some of the victims' parents, were active for four years until they were caught by a joint police and social services investigation. Twelve children are still in care as a result of the investigation that began when the 10-year- old son of the gang's ringleader told his foster parents that he had been sexually abused by his father.

The man, a 41-year-old farm hand, can be identified only as DD, to protect children involved in the case. Another paedophile is already serving a seven-year sentence for raping his 13-year-old daughter. Her mother was given four years for assisting him.

Eleven men and a woman were arrested in 1992 after the extent of the abuse was uncovered. By the time the trial began last October, more than 500 statements had been taken and more than 9,000 pages of evidence compiled.

Police have not ruled out further action because the names of several other adults were mentioned in video-recorded interviews given by children to social workers.

The judge, Mr Justice Kay, who will pass sentence after medical reports have been prepared, excused the jury of six men and five women from further jury service for life, adding: 'No case quite like it has been tried by a jury before. The whole community should be extremely grateful to you. I certainly am.'