Child abuse victims of paedophile ring that included ex-Scout leader urged to come forward

Peter Malpas
Peter Malpas

A specialist detective whose police team smashed a paedophile ring that included a former Scout leader in Northamptonshire is urging child abuse victims not to suffer in silence.

John Connolly, 42, and Joanne Gale, 36, both from Warrington in Cheshire, were locked up for a total of 40 years for their role in a sex gang that lured young victims to a remote farm.

Their sentencing on Friday brought the total number of people jailed to seven. Other members of the gang who have been jailed include Simon Christopher Collins, 58, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, Simon Wyn-Davies, 38, from Windsor in Berkshire; retired farmer Nicholas Cordery, 63, from Wiltshire; charity worker Peter Malpas, 47, from Moulton, and IT trainer Anthony Flack, 54, from Bristol.

But while the Metropolitan Police won plaudits for catching the group, its Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh has insisted the investigation is far from over as he believes there could be more victims out there.

Speaking after the latest jail sentences on Friday, he said: “These people were members of a paedophile ring.

“I believe that they have committed other offences and that’s why we have released their images.

“Anyone who believes they have been a victim is urged to contact police.

“Police and our partners will only use specially trained staff to investigate this type of crime and we are committed to providing the best possible service to victims of sexual abuse - adult or child - and bringing offenders to justice, no matter when the offence occurred.

“All I ask is that survivors (victims) do not sit in silence - please have the confidence to disclose.”

Inspector McHugh described the ring leaders as “highly manipulative, evil and dangerous individuals”.

Anyone able to help the Met with their enquiries can contact its dedicated investigation unit on 020 7161 3871.

Alternatively, people can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, ChildLine on 0800 1111.

Officers say all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.