England

Nine men convicted over Birmingham child sex ring

Stephen Kelly
Image caption Stephen Kelly found the boy begging in Birmingham city centre and prostituted him to others

Nine men have been convicted of child sex abuse after a boy was "pimped out" as part of a prostitution ring.

The 14-year-old was raped and repeatedly sold for sex in Birmingham's red light district during 2009 and 2010, a three-month trial heard.

The victim, now in his 20s, told police of the abuse shortly after it happened but his claims were not investigated until 2012, Warwick Crown Court heard.

West Midlands Police admitted "more could have been done".

The men were warned they face jail when they are sentenced on 1 July.

Image caption Darren Clegg (left) and Peter Lowe were cleared of all charges

A 10th man - former special constable Ronald Potter, 78, of Pippers Lane, Fillongley, near Coventry, was convicted of sexually assaulting another boy, aged 15, in 2001 and 2002.

Two other men, both from Birmingham - Darren Clegg, 28 of Hillside Drive, Great Barr and Peter Lowe, 68, of Salisbury Close, Moseley - were cleared of all charges.

Image caption Alan Priest (left) and Ashley Sherrington were both found guilty of raping the 14-year-old boy

Prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC described how the victim was "extremely vulnerable" and had absconded from a care home in the East Midlands.

Stephen Kelly, 39, of Elm Road, Bournville, Birmingham, found the boy begging in Birmingham city centre and prostituted him to others in cars, vans and hotels, the court heard.

Image caption Former special constable Ronald Potter, 78, was convicted of two indecent assaults on another 15-year-old boy in 2001 and 2002 but cleared of rape and sexual activity with a child

The boy was sold "like goods" in the Kent Street area of Birmingham, Ms Cottage said.

She told the jury: "Regrettably his contemporaneous complaints were not fully investigated by West Midlands Police in 2009 and 2010."

During a subsequent inquiry in 2012, the victim - who cannot be identified - was able to point police towards those involved in his exploitation.

Supt Nick Walton, of West Midlands Police, said "more could have been done" and it was working to ensure it did not happen again.

Image caption (From left to right) Ian Prestleton, Michael Godbold and Peter Joynes were all found guilty of sexual activity with the 14-year-old boy

The convictions

  • Robert Bailey, 27, of Watt Road, Erdington, Birmingham - arranging or facilitating child prostitution, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, sexual activity with a child, making indecent photographs
  • Michael Godbold, 57, of Uxbridge Rd, Shepherd's Bush, London - sexual activity with a child, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, arranging or facilitating child prostitution, possession of controlled drugs
  • Tahir Hussain, 34, of St Josephs Road, Ward End, Birmingham - sexual activity with a child
  • Peter Joynes, 58, of Canberra Way, Highgate, Birmingham - arranging or facilitating child prostitution, sexual activity with a child
  • Stephen Kelly, 39, of Elm Road, Bournville, Birmingham - arranging or facilitating child prostitution, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child
  • Ian Prestleton, of High Haden Road, Cradley Heath, West Midlands - sexual activity with a child
  • Alan Priest, 63, of Mucklow Hill, Halesowen, West Midlands - rape, sexual activity with a child
  • Ashley Sherrington, 25, of Dawlish Drive, Stoke-on-Trent - rape
  • Kevin Tudor, 55, of no fixed address, sexual activity with a child, facilitating prostitution

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