Five found guilty of paying for sex with children
Five men have been found guilty of paying for the sexual services of a child.
Mark Adaoui, Ijaz Ahmed, John Shaw, Anthony Lambert and Stefan Godfrey were all found guilty today following a five-week trial at Derby Crown Court. They will be sentenced at a later date.
Mark Adaoui, 40, of Carlton Road, Derby, was found guilty of two counts of paying for the sexual services of a child and one count of supplying cannabis.
Ijaz Ahmed, 35, of Becher Street, Derby, was found guilty of three counts of paying for the sexual services of a child.
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John Shaw, 55, of Kniveton, was charged with two counts of paying for the sexual services of a child. He was found guilty of both offences. He was found not guilty of assault.
Anthony Lambert, 51, of Warren Street, Derby, was charged with two counts of paying for the sexual services of a child. He was found guilty of both offences.
Stefan Godfrey, 44, of George Street, Pinxton was charged with two counts of paying for the sexual services of a child. He was found guilty of both offences.
Five other men, who formed part of the same police investigation, have already admitted sexual offences involving children.
A 51-year-old man was jailed for seven years last January for paying for the sexual services of a child and possessing indecent images of children while a 55-year-old man was given a three-year community order in August after he admitted to three counts of paying for the sexual services of a child.
The remaining three men will also be sentenced at a later date. They are:
Ian Yeoman, 60, from Derby, who admitted 13 counts including paying for the sexual services of a child, sexual activity with a child and possessing indecent images.
Colin Simpson, 55, from Creswell who pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child.
David Shardlow, 56, from Derby admitted to nine counts of paying for the sexual services of a child and possessing indecent images.
The convictions are the result of a lengthy and complex investigation which began in July 2010 when officers became concerned for the safety of teenaged girls who were seen on Derby streets in the evenings.
They began gathering information about the girls and liaising with Derby City Council as some of the youngsters were in care. As this process began, a 15-year-old came forward and told police that five men had been paying her for sex and one had taken indecent pictures of her.
The detailed investigation that followed, dubbed Operation Kern, saw officers identify 15 girls who were involved, seven of whom wished to take part in the prosecution. Five of these girls were victims while the other two were witnesses.
Between July and November 2010, 14 men were arrested as part of the investigation. Detectives found that many of the girls knew each other but that there was no link between the men.
Detective Superintendent Andy Stokes, head of Public Protection, said: “These convictions would not have been possible had the victims involved not been brave enough to come forward and speak to police and later give evidence in court.
“They were very vulnerable girls, some of whom came from unstable or difficult backgrounds. They were easy prey for these men, who made them feel important and safe, buying them presents to keep them on side. The girls at times felt flattered by the attention and were grateful for the gifts. But they gradually realised that what they were involved in was wrong, they were putting themselves at risk and that the men were exploiting them.”
Det Supt Stokes said Operation Kern and previous investigations show that Derbyshire police are dedicated to tackling all forms of child exploitation.
He added: “We have a dedicated team of officers who work with other agencies, such as social care, to safeguard children and investigate cases of abuse and exploitation.
“It is important that people realise that men who abuse children come from all walks of life, backgrounds and cultures.
“Nationally, police forces and other organisations are becoming more aware of child exploitation, gaining a better understanding of victims and how offenders operate. More recently, the Deputy
Children’s Commissioner has warned that a disproportionate number of girls living in care homes are becoming victims of exploitation. Since 2008, we have continued to build a close relationship with all authorities in Derbyshire that are involved in the welfare of young people so we can work together to better protect children. This includes close liaison with the Derby-based charity Safe and Sound.”