Paedophile ring jailed following covert operation

21/09/2012

Three members of a paedophile ring each received an Indeterminate Prison Sentence for Public Protection, meaning they will remain in prison until they no longer present a risk to the public, at Reading Crown Court on Friday, 21 September 2012. A fourth member will be sentenced next month.

Three members of a paedophile ring each received an Indeterminate Prison Sentence for Public Protection, meaning they will remain in prison until they no longer present a risk to the public, at Reading Crown Court on Friday, 21 September 2012. A fourth member will be sentenced next month.

Nicholas Cordery, 63, retired, of Murcott Farm, Malmsbury, Wiltshire, will serve a minimum of five and a half years after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to rape a child under 13, and possession and distribution of indecent images. An offence of attempting to arrange/facilitate the commission of a child sex offence will lie on file.

Peter Malpas, 47, a charity worker, of Rides Court, Moulton, will serve a minimum of five years and nine months having pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration, sexual assault by penetration on a child under 13, and possession and distribution of indecent images of children.

Anthony Flack, 54, an IT trainer, of Windrush Road, Keynsham, Bristol, will serve a minimum of five years having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rape a child under 13, attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence, and possession of indecent images of children.

The fourth member, Simon Wyn-Davies, 38, a soldier, of Windsor, pleaded guilty on 01 March 2012 to 22 counts of rape of a child under 13, conspiracy to rape, and distributing indecent images of children. He will be sentenced on Monday, 15 October 2012.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Paedophile Unit launched Operation Rockferry after an ongoing investigation uncovered attempts to illicit opportunities to abuse children.

In August 2011, a Covert Internet Investigator engaged with Flack who used the online name of 'WoofWoof'. Flack disclosed that he had previously raped a child under the age of 13. He also spoke of a man 'Nick' - later identified as Cordery - who hosted 'paedophile parties' on a farm.

On 24 August 2011, Flack met with an undercover officer in London. He booked a hotel room in the belief that he was going to abuse the man's child. Arresting officers found him in possession of a number of indecent images and props that he was going to use on the child.

Flack was charged with attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence and possession of indecent images of children. Examination of Flack's computer resulted in the discovery of a series of emails to Wyn-Davies and identified a number of images and videos of a child.

Wyn-Davies was arrested on 28 August 2011, and charged with 22 counts of rape of a child, offences of distributing indecent images of children and conspiracy to rape.

Officers pieced together the threads of the communications between Flack and Wyn-Davies to identify Nicholas Cordery. In emails Cordery claimed that he had contacts who could arrange discreet meetings in relation to children.

Throughout the investigation officers viewed hundreds of thousands of indecent images and read 10,000 emails in an effort to identify victims, scenes, and suspects.

An undercover operation was launched against Nicholas Cordery. During these conversations Cordery made comments relating to the officer's fictitious 10-year-old daughter and offered his home as a place where abuse could take place. He also offered to facilitate introductions to other paedophiles at his home. He specifically mentioned Wyn-Davies.

Cordery was arrested on 21 November 2011, and charged with attempting to arrange/facilitate the commission of a child sex offence, conspiracy to rape and possession and distribution of indecent images. A search of his home uncovered a disk containing 1,700 indecent images of children.

Malpas was identified as a result of inquires and subsequently arrested on 17 January 2012, and later charged with rape and sexual assault of a child.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "We have worked closely with the Metropolitan Police's Paedophile Unit since this investigation was launched.  This case involved the serious and sustained sexual abuse of vulnerable young children, the distribution of footage of the abuse, and distribution and possession of indecent images including extreme pornography by a ring of active paedophiles.  The young age of the victims greatly increases the seriousness of the offences.

"The evidence against the three defendants sentenced today was so overwhelming that they had no option, but to admit their involvement and plead guilty despite their earlier denials.

"It is only due to the great courage of the victims that this abuse was brought to light, and the full extent of the despicable and lawless behaviour of these people revealed.

"The CPS takes all allegations of rape and sexual offences seriously and has specialist rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO) prosecutors who have expertise in dealing with sexual offences cases.  We work with the police and the courts to ensure that victims are given the best possible support during the court process.  Cases of rape and other serious sexual offences are among the most difficult cases that we deal with and need to be dealt with very sensitively.  We will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders and particularly those who target young and vulnerable victims.

"The sentences imposed today recognise the seriousness of the offences and the vulnerability of the victims.

"I hope that today's sentences gives some sense of closure to the victims involved, so that they can now put this unpleasant episode behind them and move on with their lives.  Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh of the Paedophile Unit said: "This has been an exceptionally challenging and complex investigation that has covered several police force areas. This result demonstrates the commitment of the Met's Paedophile Unit to use all audacious and lawful tactics to capture the most dangerous sex offenders and protect the most vulnerable.

"I would like to pay tribute not only to the Paedophile Unit, but to all those partner agencies that supported this case; health, social care and education authorities; other police forces; the Crown Prosecution Service; and most importantly our amazing survivors (victims). Everyone involved has secured compelling evidence against these highly manipulative and dangerous individuals.

"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.

"I believe that these defendants will have committed other offences and I would therefore urge anyone who believes they may have been a victim to have the confidence to report the incident to police. We are here to support and protect you.

"The investigation team can be contacted direct on 020 7161 3871. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, ChildLine on 0800 1111, report the matter to your local police station, or inform a teacher or trusted individual. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence."

The judge at Reading Crown Court commended police officers, partners and the Crown Prosecution Service for an exceptional investigation.