Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Darren Mackrell admits rape of children in Southampton

A man has admitted drugging and raping three schoolchildren after meeting them at a park.

Darren Mackrell, 45, raped two boys aged eight and 10 and a girl, nine, at his flat in Southampton, Hampshire.

At the city's Crown court, he admitted 18 charges of rape, sexual assault, forcing the viewing and engagement in sexual acts and drugging.

Judge Gary Burrell QC warned he would spend a long time in prison for the "abhorrent" acts.

One of the children's mothers had become concerned about the children's whereabouts and went to the park to look for them.

She found out that the children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were at Mackrell's home and called the police.

'Very lengthy sentence'

An officer broke the door down after looking through the letterbox and seeing a pornographic video playing on the television.

Mackrell pleaded guilty to all the charges on the eve of his trial.

The judge said Mackrell's crimes were "abhorrent" and ordered a report before sentencing to find out how dangerous the defendant is to children.

"As night follows day, you will be sentenced to a very lengthy sentence in any event.

"If you satisfy the criteria of dangerousness or imprisonment for public protection, you could be subject to a life sentence," he said.

Judge Burrell adjourned the case for sentencing at Winchester Crown Court on 21 September.

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