Up to 1,000 children could have suffered in Britain’s worst known abuse scandal – where sex gangs targeted girls as young as 11. The rape hell of vulnerable young girls in one town – Telford – went on for a shocking 40 years, the Sunday Mirror has claimed. As many as 1,000 children could have suffered at the merciless hands of perverts and torturers in Telford since the 1980s.
Girls as young as 11 have been lured from their families to be drugged, beaten and raped in an epidemic that, say victims, is still ongoing. Three people were murdered and two others died in tragedies linked to the scandal. Despite similar high-profile cases in Rochdale and Rotherham, authorities in Telford repeatedly failed to stamp out a network of abusers. The scale of the abuse uncovered in Telford – population 170,000 – is feared to be the most brutal and long-running of all abuse scandals.
Daily Mirror investigators spoke to 12 victims, most of them unconnected. They accused more than 70 abusers and claimed that violent rapes were still taking place just months ago. One 14-year-old, groomed and abused after her phone number was sold to paedophiles, said: “I hated what was happening and my abusers made my skin crawl but I was told that if I said a word to anyone they’d come for my little sisters and tell my mum I was a prostitute. Night after night, I was forced to have sex with multiple men in disgusting takeaways and filthy houses. I must have been getting the morning after pill from a local clinic at least twice a week but no one asked any questions.
“I fell pregnant twice and had two abortions. Hours after my second termination, I was taken by one of my abusers to be raped by more men. The worst moment came just after my 16th birthday when I was drugged and gang raped by five men. Days later, the ringleader turned up at my house and told me he’d burn it down if I breathed a word of what had happened.”