A survivor of child sexual exploitation has spoken out against the use of a convicted child rapist as a police informant in the Newcastle abuse case.
Some 17 men and one woman have been convicted of numerous child sex offences following a series of trials. The victims were girls and young women in the Newcastle and Gateshead area.
Cops paid nearly £10,000 to a man convicted of raping a child in 2002 and inviting someone else to rape her after he had. The informant, known as XY, was paid to spy on Newcastle abusers.
Cops claim he had no contact with victims. Yet XY said he attended 30 “parties” where victims were raped. He was arrested for a sexual offence with a child while employed by the cops.
Sammy Woodhouse suffered abuse from the age of 14 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. She told Socialist Worker, “I’m glad the girls have got justice. But I feel like the police have played games with people’s lives.
“They took this convicted rapist and threw him in the middle of it. It’s very dangerous. Who was watching him?”
The police claimed the informant’s information helped secure the convictions. Yet the jury never heard his evidence after judge Penny Moreland dismissed his evidence “in its entirety”.
She said XY was “inherently unreliable, lacking in credibility and in my view so clearly dishonest”.
Sammy said it is “absolute nonsense” to say cops need informers to secure convictions.
“What the police have said is a massive blow to survivors not just in Newcastle but around the country,” she said. “It’s basically saying to survivors, you’re not relevant. You’re not needed. That can be really damaging.
“We should be encouraging survivors in coming forward and making them realise how vital they are. There is no case whatsoever without survivors.
“Let’s take the informant out of the equation. You’ve still got over 20 survivors in court who would have got guilty verdicts. But take out every single survivor and all you’ve got is a bit of information from the informant.”
Far from the informant being key to the case, Sammy pointed that police use of XY nearly destroyed it. “The entire case could have been thrown out of court because of it,” she said.
Cops in Newcastle had numerous chances to stop the abuse and they failed to take them. One abuser, Bahmani Ahmadi, was released in 2012 after a complaint that he had sex with a 15 year old girl.
An officer failed to check his phone—which would have revealed the scale of the abuse—and was subsequently sacked for gross incompetence.
Police stopped some abusers in cars with young girls—and did nothing. They spoke to abuser Abdul Sabe while he was drinking with young girls in a derelict pub—and did nothing.
Police acting on a report that Sabe had pushed three drunk teenage girls into the back of a car reported that “nothing untoward” had happened.
Sammy said it was “ridiculous” to say the police had no information without the informant. She added, “All I keep thinking is, what if police paid my abuser £10,000 to go around some kids and get information?”
Police could face civil actions from victims. Solicitors Leigh Day said that had an examination of Ahmadi’s phone in 2012 “may have prevented a further ten young people from being abused”.
It said the ten victims “could potentially bring civil legal action for a breach of their human rights against Northumbria Police”.
In Rotherham a number of survivors are suing the police and the council for negligence. Some five claims have been settled, with survivors receiving compensation, out of 58 received.
Sammy said, “They’ve admitted being at fault. They’re trying to give compensation without it getting to court. My case is absolutely solid—I’ve refused to settle."