Tag: child sexual abuse claims

Ex-Dragon in Court over Child Sex Abuse Claims

Ex-Dragon’s Den star, Doug Richard, has been charged with 5 child sex abuse offences. It is alleged he paid a 13 year old girl money to be his ‘sex slave’, after making contact with her through a ‘sugar daddy’ website.

Online Encounter

The Old Bailey heard this week that 57 year old Richard spanked the girl multiple times before having sex with her. Richard, a former business advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, allegedly paid the 13 year old and her 15 year old friend a total of £480 to travel to London and meet him.

Richard is said to have advertised himself as a ‘sugar daddy’ on the online site ‘Seeking Arrangements’. The court heard that police had recovered numerous online exchanges between Richard and the 13 year old that had been deleted. In one conversation, Richard asked if the girl was free and available to come to London to see him after school. The jury heard that when the girl replied to say that she couldn’t and could they rearrange, Richard told her he would only wait to meet her another time if she sent ‘sexy’ photos of herself , ‘wearing less clothing’ and in ‘more revealing positions’. Richard said to the girl:

‘I will make a deal with you. I will wait for the following week if you send me those photos you promised.’

He also told her to send pictures of herself in a ‘submissive pose’ before going on to say:

‘On your hands and knees so I can see you helpless and exposed… [this is the] first task for your new daddy – get it wrong and I will have to spank you’

To which the 13 year old replied:

‘You are my new daddy – I will do anything to make you happy.’

Gino Connor, prosecuting, told the court:

‘The male was an experienced 56-year-old at the time,

‘It should have put him on notice at that point, having seen the photos of her, that she was young – 13 years old.’

London

Connor went on to say that the girls travelled to London on 2 January 2015 and purchased their train tickets with the £120 that Richard had transferred to a PayPal account for them. Richard then picked the girls up from Liverpool Street station, before taking them to a café where he asked how old they both were. The girls said they were 16 and 17.

Richard then took the girls to an aparthotel were he proceeded to ask them if they would be his ‘slaves’. The Old Bailey was told that the older girl kissed Richard on the lips for about half a minute, however she thought he was ‘horrible and smokey’ and rebuffed his offer to be his slave.

It is alleged that Richard then focused his attentions on the younger girl, who agreed to have sex with the entrepreneur. Mr Connor told the court:

‘The defendant told the girl to remove her items of clothing one by one. She was compliant and undressed completely until naked. He told her to remove his clothing which she did. He spanked her on about seven occasions.’

Jurors heard how Richard instructed the 13 year old to perform a sex act on him whilst her friend looked on. Richard and the girl then moved into an adjoining room where it is claimed they had intercourse. Video footage of a police interview with the fifteen year old was played to the court, in which she claimed she could hear her younger friend ‘whining’ form the other room but could not see what was happening.

According to the 15 year old, she herself entered the other room at one point, where she witnessed her friend perform another sex act on Richard, after which she fled the room in tears. The girl added:

‘She called for me. I went to see her. She was crying. She looked like a mess.’

Following the alleged child sex abuse offences, it is claimed Richard gave the girls money to go shopping and called them a taxi. When the girls arrived home later that day, the older girl’s mother noticed that there had been an unusual deposit in her daughter’s bank account and called the police.

Arrest

Three days later, Richard was arrested at a central London hotel where he allegedly asked a police officer:
‘Can I ask you a hypothetical question? What if I thought she was over 16 but she was in fact under 16?”
The officer advised him to seek advice from his lawyer, to which Richard responded, ‘Under 16, wow’. Richard gave an answer of ‘no comment’ when questioned by police.

The prosecution added:

‘I suspect there is going to be no dispute as far as the sexual activity is concerned.’

‘When you look at the photographs of this girl, and the defendant had seen the photographs, he had also seen photographs of her naked, you need to ask yourselves whether he is telling the truth when he says he thought she was 16 or over.’

In her police interview, the then fifteen year old told of how her younger friend had begun chatting to a man online and said that they wanted a ‘sugar daddy’, because “a sugar daddy, they can spoil you and take care of you and boys my age just want to have sex.” But on the day that the alleged offences took place she presumed they would just be sightseeing around London.

Child Sex Abuse Charges

US born Richard, who appeared as a ‘dragon’ on the BBC programme Dragon’s Den for the first two seasons, has been charged with three charges of sexual activity with a child and one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He has also been charged with paying for sexual services.

Richard denies all five charges of child sex abuse brought against him but admits to having consensual sexual relations with the thirteen year old as he believed she was sixteen or older.

The trial, which continues, is taking place at the Old Bailey before Judge Mark Lucroft QC and is expected to last 5 days.

Child sex abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing child sex abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your or your child’s situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Mail Online

85% of Child Sex Abuse Unreported According to New Data

From April 2012 to March 2014, around 50,000 cases of child sex abuse were reported to the police. However, a recent study by the Children’s Commissioner for England suggests that the number of children abused in that period is actually around 450,000.

Key Findings

Key findings of the study were as follows:

• 75% of child sex abuse victims were female
• Two thirds of child sex abuse took place within or close to the family environment
• The age at which child sexual abuse is most likely to occur is just 9 years
• Not recognising what has happened to them, a large number of victims do not speak out about their abuse until their teenage years or later
• Even once a child has confided in someone, it is unlikely that the abuse will stop

In recent years there has been a major focus on child sex abuse occurring within institutions or by groups of offenders. However, the report has highlighted the fact that the majority of abuse takes place within families or trusted circles. Children’s commissioner Anne Longfield said:

“We must now wake up to and urgently address the most common form of child sexual abuse – that which takes place behind the front door within families or their trusted circles.

“The children’s commissioner has called for urgent action from government and more training to help teachers, social services, police and other professionals identify abuse early on.

“There are always signs. Children can become withdrawn or show overly sexualised behaviour. If you know the child it will be obvious to see changes in their behaviour.”

Most Detailed Analysis Yet

The Children’s Commissioner’s report scrutinised information from a variety of sources, including surveys from over 750 survivors of child abuse, as well as police and local councils. The study also examined a recent study of child mistreatment that found 11.3% of young adults (18-24) had suffered sexual abuse as a child.

The report is said to be the most detailed analysis of child sex abuse in England to date.

Simon Bailey, Norfolk Chief Constable, is responsible for police child protection and abuse investigations throughout the country. He said of the report:

“The numbers are staggering [but] I’m not that surprised.

“I’ve regularly talked about the level of child abuse reported to police as being the tip of the iceberg.”

Chief Constable Bailey also went on to admit that although police had made significant improvements in dealing with child abuse reports, there was still work to do.

“Jimmy Savile in 2012 was a watershed moment, for the police service in particular. This now has to be a watershed moment for all agencies involved in child protection.

“We have to fundamentally rethink how we go about stopping abuse of this nature happening on the horrific scale the commission has identified.”

Call for Government to Take Action

The report has called for a number of serious actions to be taken by government to prevent child abuse, including:

• To train teachers to identify any signs or symptoms of abuse, along with actions to be taken afterwards
• Compulsory lessons for children from the age of five, to be taught about healthy and safe relationships
• To teach children to speak to an appropriate adult if they have any concerns relating to abuse
• Increasing the responsibilities of those individuals working with children
• To offer support to children from the moment they disclose abuse
• To have an appropriate intermediary such as a child psychologist to be present during evidence interviews with children
• To ensure that all police forces make a record of all child sexual abuse related offences

The recommendations laid out in the report would be ‘carefully considered’, the Department for Education has said.

“[This government] set up the first ever cross-government child protection taskforce to overhaul the way police, schools, social services and others work together in tackling this abhorrent crime.

“We have also invested an extra £100m to support vulnerable children and we are providing £7m for services supporting child abuse survivors.”

The burden of disclosing abuse must be not be something that children should have to endure, according to Roy Perry of the Local Government Association. However, he has stressed that ‘councils cannot do this alone. We need support from a million eyes and ears amongst the public.’

Children’s Commissioners in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales stated that they had no equivalent figures on child abuse.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

Source: BBC News