Abuse victim’s bravery hailed as perverts are put away

Abuse victim’s bravery hailed as perverts are put away  July 9, 2016

A sexual abuse victim who was ‘sold like goods’ in Birmingham’s red light district has been praised for his bravery after reporting the crimes to police.

The treatment of the teenage boy led to the jailing of nine men, including two men from the Black Country – Alan Priest from Halesowen and Ian Prestleton from Cradley Heath.

A three-month trial heard how the victim, who complained to West Midlands Police in 2009 and 2010, was stripped, beaten and raped.

The teenager, who cannot be identified, had absconded from a care home and first spoke to police in 2009.

During a later inquiry in 2012, the victim was able to direct police to the offenders.

Sitting at Warwick Crown Court, Judge Sylvia de Bertadano said the teenager had been let down by the authorities.

A spokesman for the NSPCC said: “These men exploited a vulnerable boy for their own sexual gratification and subjected him to sickening abuse at a time when he needed help and support.

“We hope the case sends out a message that operations like this can be dismantled, no matter how powerful abusers think they are.

“Child sexual exploitation often exists in the shadows, with abusers making their victims feel like there is no escape.

“But in this case, the victim’s bravery in speaking out was crucial in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

“It is also vital that anyone concerned about a child comes forward, as it could help save them from further abuse.”

Priest, 63, of Mucklow Hill, was jailed for life with a minimum term of seven years after being convicted of two rapes and one of sexual activity with a child.

Prestleton, 54, of High Haden Road, received a three-year sentence after being convicted of sexual activity with a child.

During the trial, Prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC said the victim ran away from a children’s home in December 2009, when he was 14, and was missing for 11 days.

He was then found at Stephen Kelly’s home and returned to care.

During that time he had been pimped by Kelly in the Kent Street area of Birmingham.

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