Once you’ve saved one child it be­comes al­most ad­dic­tive

The People - - NEWS FEATURES -

The per­vert, called Mal­colm, ri­fled through the bed­room draw­ers in their house, smirking as he han­dled the young chil­dren’s clothes.

Sick­en­ingly he ex­plained to his side­kick how he met his vic­tim on­line and earned her trust by of­fer­ing to dec­o­rate her house for free.

Then came the words: “I am gonna do the chil­dren and I am gonna do the mother.”

But the fam­ily was saved be­cause Mal­colm’s “pal” was re­ally Ian James – an un­der­cover po­lice­man who lived a dou­ble life for 20 years, sav­ing up to 50 chil­dren.

At home he was a lov­ing hus­band and dad of two chil­dren aged three and five. At work he dis­guised his feel­ings of dis­gust while pre­tend­ing to be mates with monsters such as Mal­colm.

Ian, 59 – given an MBE and nu­mer­ous po­lice com­men­da­tions – tells his story in his book Save One Child. He spent six months with Mal­colm, who had been freed af­ter 12 years’ jail for abus­ing young­sters. “He was odi­ous,” said Ian, “per­ma­nently self-cen­tred with a mas­sive ego.

“Any child over seven was too old for him, which was extremely dis­tress­ing. We were talk­ing about chil­dren the same age as my own.”

Church

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