Three paedophiles sentenced to a total of 40 years

22 February 2013

Paedophile John Connolly

Three members of a paedophile ring have been sentenced to a total of 40 years after being convicted of being involved in sexual offences against a child under 16.

Appearing at Reading Crown Court today (22 February) were:

[E] John Connolly (26.12.70 - 42 years) of Warrington, Cheshire, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after being found guilty of:
- one count of the rape of a child under 13.
- one count of conspiracy to distribute indecent images of children.
- one count of possession of indecent images of children.

[F] Joanne Gale (23.3.76 - 36 years) of Warrington, Cheshire, was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment after being found guilty of:
- Aiding and abetting the rape of a child under 13.
- one count of conspiracy to distribute indecent images of children.
- five counts of possession of indecent images of children.

On 21 February, another man - [G] Simon Christopher Collins (19/5/54 - 58 ys) of Chippenham, Wiltshire - was also sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment after being found guilty of:
- Arranging the commission of a child sex offence.
- Aiding / abetting a female person to allow intercourse with a living animal.
- 3 counts of making indecent images.
- 5 counts of possession of extreme pornography.

The trio were arrested as part of a wider investigation into a paedophile ring by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service Paedophile Unit. Four people have already received indeterminate sentences for public protection, including [D] Nicholas Cordery, whose farm was attended by Collins to commit offences.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh of the Paedophile Unit said:

"This has been a very complex investigation, covering several police force areas. Today's convictions demonstrate 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; Crown Prosecution Services; 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.

"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."

The investigation team can be contacted direct on 020 7161 3871. Alternatively, you can 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 police and CPS were also commended by his Honour Judge John for the thorough investigation.