Tuesday, May 28

Police chief defends using rapist as informant



A police chief who took the controversial decision to use a child rapist as an informant against a grooming gang says he has received hundreds and hundreds of supportive messages from the public.

Northumbria Police’s decision to pay the unnamed convict almost £10,000 had made headlines when the details emerged last month.

But after all but one member of the grooming gang was sentenced for their roles in recruiting vulnerable young women, giving them drugs and then persuading or forcing them into sex, Chief Constable Steve Ashman described the outpouring of public support for his force’s decisions.

Carolann Gallon Mr Ashman said: When reflecting upon the morality of the decision, I think it’s important to take account of public opinion.

If the moral compass was spinning when it was first made public a few weeks ago, when the verdicts were handed out, it’s absolutely fixed now in our favour.

If I had any doubt, and I didn’t personally, but if I had any doubt whether it was the right thing to do, then I’m absolutely determined now that it was.

Mr Ashman said the child rapist – known only as XY – was not tasked with going to parties, but said some of his information was absolutely pivotal in putting some very, very dangerous people behind bars.

The chief constable’s remarks came as a woman who had found vulnerable victims for the grooming gang was jailed for six years and three months.

Carolann Gallon had taken a 13-year-old who had run away from foster care to a Tyneside flat knowing she was likely to be the victim of a sexual offence.

Now 22, Gallon admitted to three counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation at Newcastle Crown Court.

A total of 17 men and one woman have been convicted after four trials The shaven-headed defendant was obstructive with police when they made inquiries in 2012.

The following year, Gallon took the same girl from a children’s home and brought her to a series of addresses.

The girl was given drink and drugs at flats where men flirted with her and put their arms around her.

She told detectives that sexual stuff happened there, and that a man had sex with her against her will, the court heard.

The court was also told Gallon had invited a 14-year-old staying at another care home in the North East to a binge, but police stopped her.

Gallon rearranged the meeting – and the girl was taken to a house where she was given vodka and cannabis.

The grooming gang had tricked girls into thinking they were in a relationship, gave them drink and drugs at parties, then forced them into having sex with other men.

John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said Gallon told police after she was arrested: They shouldn’t have too much to drink.

If they want to go with them, they have got their own mind to go with people. It’s self-inflicted, I’ve got no sympathy.

The court heard Gallon also took a girl with learning difficulties to a flat where she was raped by Abdulhamid Minoyee.

Minoyee, 34, had given the girl cannabis and raped her while she was intoxicated. He has been jailed for 15 years.

One remaining member of the gang will be sentenced next week. In total, 17 men and one woman have been convicted.