VUL­NER­A­BLE BOY ‘SOLD FOR SEX’

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

AN­OTHER cold day, best of the sun­shine in the south. More in the way of cloud over north­ern, cen­tral and western parts where there’ll be a few show­ers.

Highs of 7C in Lon­don, 6C in Cardiff, 5C in Manch­ester, 6C in Belfast and 4C in Ed­in­burgh.

Mostly fine but cold with oc­ca­sional show­ers on Thurs­day. Overnight frost.

Highs of 8C in Lon­don, 6C in Cardiff, 5C in Manch­ester, 6C in Belfast, 3C in Ed­in­burgh.

OUT­LOOK: More cloud. A VUL­NER­A­BLE teenage boy in lo­cal au­thor­ity care was sub­jected to a “hor­ri­fy­ing and ap­palling” se­ries of rapes and re­peat­edly sold for sex in a red light district, a court has heard.

The trial of 12 men ac­cused of com­mit­ting a va­ri­ety of sex­ual of­fences against the boy, mainly in the Birm­ing­ham area, was told he has been left “trau­ma­tised”.

Open­ing the case against the de­fen­dants at War­wick Crown Court, pros­e­cu­tor Rosina Cot­tage QC said the com­plainant – now aged in his early 20s – was first spo­ken to by po­lice in 2009.

Ms Cot­tage said: “Re­gret­tably, his con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous com­plaints were not fully in­ves­ti­gated by West Mid­lands Po­lice in 2009 and 2010.”

But dur­ing a sub­se­quent in­quiry in 2012, the teenager – who can­not be iden­ti­fied be­cause of a court or­der – was able to point po­lice to­wards those in­volved in his al­leged ex­ploita­tion.

Ms Cot­tage said for­mer Spe­cial Con­sta­ble with War­wick­shire Po­lice, 78-year-old Ron­ald Pot­ter, from Fil­lon­g­ley, near Coven­try, was among those stand­ing trial for the al­leged abuse.

Ten of the 12 de­fen­dants – aged be­tween 25 and 78 and from the West Mid­lands, Lon­don and Stoke-on-Trent – deny ar­rang­ing or fa­cil­i­tat­ing child pros­ti­tu­tion.

Other charges in­clude of­fences of rape, at­tempted rape, sex­ual ac­tiv­ity with a child and en­gag­ing in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity in the pres­ence of a child.

The trial con­tin­ues.

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