Con­victed sex traf­ficker at­tacked by fel­low pris­on­ers

Sunday Sun - - Front Page - By So­phie Doughty Crime Reporter so­phie.doughty@ncj­me­

SEX traf­ficker Carolann Gal­lon has been at­tacked in prison af­ter fel­low in­mates dis­cov­ered her vile crimes.

And the only wo­man jailed as part of the Op­er­a­tion Shel­ter groom­ing gang probe has had to move jails af­ter she be­came a tar­get for other women pris­on­ers, the Sun­day Sun can to­day re­veal.

Gal­lon was locked up for six years af­ter a judge heard how she pro­vided vul­ner­a­ble girls, some as young as 13, to a net­work of vile sex preda­tors in New­cas­tle’s West End.

She was ini­tially held at Low New­ton’s women’s prison in Durham.

How­ever, the 23-year-old’s fam­ily has told the Sun­day Sun she has since been moved al­most 150 miles to HMP Styal, in Cheshire, af­ter con­stant taunt­ing from fe­male con­victs in Low New­ton.

And Gal­lon’s prob­lems have con­tin­ued at her new prison, where she was as­saulted on Sun­day.

To­day as po­lice in­ves­ti­gate the at­tack, which left Gal­lon with mi­nor in­juries, the shamed traf­ficker’s dad has opened up about his daugh­ter’s prison hell.

Jimmy Gal­lon said: “Peo­ple have found out what she’s in for and she’s get­ting grief. She got moved from one place to an­other be­cause she was get­ting picked on, then she rang me say­ing she had been as­saulted by some­one in there. She cries ev­ery time I speak to her.

“It’s aw­ful for me be­cause I feel so help­less. She’s my daugh­ter and I just feel like there’s noth­ing I can do for her.

I re­ally miss her but my hands are tied. It’s just heart­break­ing for me.”

Gal­lon was one of 18 peo­ple con­victed as part of Northum­bria Po­lice’s Op­er­a­tion Shel­ter, which probed the ex­ploita­tion of vul­ner­a­ble young women and girls in New­cas­tle’s West End. She is the only wo­man and the other con­victs were men of Asian or Eastern Euro­pean de­scent.

New­cas­tle Crown Court heard how the men would prey on vul­ner­a­ble females and lure them to par­ties where they were plied with drugs and booze be­fore be­ing used for sex.

Gal­lon was ar­rested as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pleaded guilty to three counts of traf­fick­ing for sex­ual ex­ploita­tion.

Dur­ing her sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, Judge Penny More­land was told that Gal­lon left one young wo­man with learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties with Ab­dul­hamid Mi­noyee and told her she was in safe hands – only for him to rape her when she fell into a drug and al­co­hol-in­duced sleep.

And a 13-year-old girl, who was in lo­cal au­thor­ity care, was found at Gal­lon’s home af­ter she ran away.

The pros­e­cu­tion said Gal­lon took the teen to a home on Scep­tre Place in El­swick ‘know­ing or be­liev­ing’ she would be sex­u­ally ex­ploited.

Gal­lon, of Hare­side Court, New­burn, New­cas­tle, and a man also picked the girl up from an­other chil­dren’s home when she was 14 and took her and an­other girl to var­i­ous houses where par­ties known as ‘ses­sions’ were tak­ing place. Older men pro­vided the girls with drink and drugs. The girl later told her care worker a man had sex with her against her will and after­wards Gal­lon had “mocked her”, the court heard.

The vic­tim said Gal­lon told her her “fam­ily would be chopped to pieces if I spoke out”.

Jimmy how­ever, main­tains his daugh­ter is as much a vic­tim as they other girls and was be­ing ma­nip­u­lated by the men.

“I have al­ways said she needs help, not pun­ish­ment,” he said. “They could have put her on a tag. I would have taken full re­spon­si­bil­ity for her. She could have come to live with me. Prison is not go­ing to help.”

Gal­lon was the sec­ond el­dest in a fam­ily of six chil­dren, while Jimmy has 17 chil­dren to four dif­fer­ent women. Her dad, who lost both his legs to di­a­betes, said she was a bright car­ing child, but went off the rails as a teenager when she be­gan drink­ing in the homes of older men in the West End.

“She was all right as a young lass, but it was since she got in with this lot that she changed,” said Jimmy. “Those men were just us­ing her.

“I think they saw her as an easy tar­get, I don’t think she knew what she was do­ing.”

He added: “When she was young she wanted to be a vet or a nurse. I just wish she had done some­thing with her life. She could have. She was quite bright. She’s got a good head-piece. I tried my best to stop it. I had been to a cou­ple of places that she had been and I got the po­lice a cou­ple of times be­cause they were giv­ing her drink.”

But for­mer steel worker Jimmy never imag­ined his girl would ever be in­volved in such se­ri­ous crimes.

“I knew she’d gone off the rails. But this is the last thing you would ever ex­pect your daugh­ter to go to jail for,” he said.

Jimmy is now plan­ning to move to Keigh­ley in West York­shire and hopes his daugh­ter will join him there fol­low­ing her re­lease.

And the de­voted dad be­lieves it is not too late for Gal­lon to turn her life around.

“She’s still my lit­tle girl,” he said. “I will make sure she stays on the straight and nar­row when she gets out. She wants to start a new life and she can move away with me.”

The de­ci­sion to charge Gal­lon, of Hare­side Court in New­burn, was taken by the UK’s se­nior law of­fi­cer the Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions.

Thanks to the brav­ery of those they tar­geted, 18 peo­ple, in­clud­ing Gal­lon, have now been jailed for their roles in the sex ex­ploita­tion net­work that brought shame on New­cas­tle’s West End.

They were all snared through Op­er­a­tion Shel­ter, part of Northum­bria Po­lice’s wider ex­ploita­tion ini­tia­tive Op­er­a­tion Sanc­tu­ary.

Northum­bria Po­lice’s for­mer Chief Con­sta­ble, Steve Ash­man, said the DPP be­came sat­is­fied that Gal­lon was in­volved in the crim­i­nal­ity, and not a vic­tim her­self.

Carolann Gal­lon

Carolann Gal­lon

Jimmy Gal­lon

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