Eight depraved women in child sex ring whose victims all under 12 | UK News
These are the faces of eight women convicted of child sex abuse crimes spanning almost a decade.
A total of 21 people were found guilty of sickening abuse that left seven victims, all aged 12 and below, in Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Of those 21, six women have been sentenced, while the other two will have their day in court next month.
The horrific child sex ring was uncovered in 2017 after a victim was taken to hospital with a suspicious injury, prompting doctors to make a safeguarding referral, which triggered the police investigation.
Following three trials, 13 people have been jailed, four are due to be sentenced, and four received non-custodial terms.
It was the largest child sex abuse investigation ever carried out in the West Midlands, with Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Drover describing their findings as ‘systematic abuse that has to be some of the most shocking I have seen in my career’.
He added: ’70 interviews were conducted and we heard high numbers of disclosures made by the children involved.
‘The victims have been through a significant amount of trauma – it has had a significant and ongoing impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.
‘To get the confidence to come forward and talk to care professionals, to police, is huge. I am genuinely thankful, and also to the juries involved in this.’
The three trials concluded in May 2022, February 2023 and April 5 this year, but reporting restrictions meant the verdicts could not be published until all three had finished.
The women convicted are:
- Kirsty Webb, 36, who was jailed for 10 years, given an indefinite restraining order in respect of the victims, and a 30-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) after being found guilty of five child sex offences.
- Pamela Howells, 58, was jailed for seven years for three child sex offences, and was also handed an SHPO for 15 years and an indefinite restraining order.
- Ann Marie Clare, 43, was jailed for eight years for four child sex offences, with an extended licence period of three years for 11 years in total. She was also handed an SHPO for 30 years and an indefinite restraining order.
- Tracey Baker, 41, was found guilty of five child sex abuse offences and sentenced to 16 years in prison and given an SHPO and a restraining order, both until further notice.
- Jane Evans, 71, was found unfit to plea but a jury decided she committed the acts alleged. She was sentenced to a supervision order and a SHPO.
- Natalie Wellington, 44, was convicted of four child sex offences and jailed for 17 years, including an extra year on extended licence, alongside an indefinite restraining order and indefinite SHPO.
- Violet Griffiths, 66, will be sentenced in May after being convicted of two child sex offences.
- Natasha Webb, 37, is due to be sentenced at a later date. She gave evidence for the Crown at all three trials.
The men convicted during the three trials are:
- James Evans, 38, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years and given an indefinite SHPO after being found guilty of 20 child sex offences.
- Mark Smith, 34, jailed for 19 years with an extended licence period of six years, making a total of 25 years, for four child sex offences. He was also handed an SHPO for 30 years and an indefinite restraining order in respect of the victims.
- Lee Webb, 40, was found guilty of three child sex offences and was jailed for six years with a 30-year SHPO and an indefinite restraining order.
- Dean Webb, 35, was found not fit to plea but a jury decided he had committed the acts alleged. He was given a two-year supervision order and a 40-year SHPO.
- Stephen Webb, 65, was also found not fit to plea but the jury decided he had committed the acts alleged. He was given an absolute discharge for health reasons.
- David Baker, 41, was found guilty of seven child sex offences and sentenced to 21 years imprisonment including one year on licence, as well as an indefinite SHPO and an indefinite restraining order.
- Luke Baker, 22, was jailed for two years and four months for two child sex offences and was also handed a restraining order until further notice and a 15-year SHPO.
- David Evans, 72, was jailed for three-and-a-half years for two offences and given indefinite restraining and SHPO orders.
- Philip Wellington, 50, was found guilty of three child sex offences and hailed for nine years and given an SHPO and a restraining order, both to last until further order.
- Jason Evans, 25, was found guilty of three offences and sentenced to two years and six months, a restraining order until further notice and a 15-year SHPO.
- Ryan Evans, 23, was found guilty of one child sex offence and sentenced to a three-year community order, a restraining order and a 15-year SHPO.
- Matthew Evans, 32, will be sentenced in May after being found guilty of two child sex offences.
- John Griffiths, 66, was found guilty of two child sex offences and will be sentenced in May.
Joanne Jakymec from the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘The offenders in this case perpetrated the most appalling catalogue of sexual abuse of the utmost gravity, causing the victims physical harm and extreme psychological harm.
‘With the exception of one of the offenders who admitted what they had done, none of the rest have shown the slightest remorse.
‘The CPS and West Midlands Police worked very closely together for six years, painstakingly reviewing a huge amount of evidence and disclosure to ensure that the offenders were brought to justice in a series of three trials because of the sheer number of defendants.’
The news of this horrific child sex ring has been released in the same week the prime minister and home secretary pledged to crack down on grooming gangs.
Suella Braverman described the perpetrators of grooming gangs as ‘groups of men, almost all British-Pakistani, who hold cultural attitudes completely incompatible with British values’ in the Mail on Sunday.
This is despite the Home Office’s own report from 2020 which concluded that ‘group based child sexual exploitation offenders are most commonly white’.
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