EXCLUSIVE: Charity chief and abuse victim call for independent inquiry into Shoebury sex ring, as paedophile is exposed as Essex Police informant


Charles Thomson

by Charles Thomson – Chief Reporter

THE FOUNDER of a leading child abuse charity has called for an independent inquiry into the Shoebury Sex Ring, saying he believes Essex Police has a conflict of interest.

Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), said the force’s ’inexcusable actions’ should be investigated by somebody ’completely independent’.

Mr Saunders spoke out after the YA revealed last week that a notorious paedophile had been secretly working for Essex Police after he had already been serially convicted of sex offences – and even whilst the force was supposed to be investigating him.

In 1993, an officer told a charity worker that a senior officer was ’blocking investigation’ into Dennis King after he was accused of pimping out girls to fellow paedophiles.

King had a catalogue of child sex offences to his name and had only just completed a jail term for running a Rotherham-style paedophile ring in Shoebury, which transported children around Essex and beyond to be drugged and abused.

The officer running the 1993 case admitted to the charity worker that despite King’s criminal history, Essex Police had him on the books as a ’registered informant’.

Mr Saunders said the revelation had initially left him ’lost for words’.

He said: “I can’t believe the police would employ – because that’s effectively what they were doing – a child abuser. That is inexcusable.

“I have no doubt many of the characters involved in that will be retired now and living on cushy pensions somewhere, but they need to be held to account. It is just a blatant insult – not only to his victims, but also to wider society.

“We all understand police employing what we might call common criminals as informants, but someone that commits these crimes is in a different, vile category. I hope heads roll.

“It’s entirely inappropriate for police forces to investigate themselves, because we all know their propensity to cover themselves. This was extremely bad behaviour and it should be investigated by somebody completely independent. In fact, I wonder whether an independent inquiry wouldn’t be appropriate.”

One of King’s known victims, who has been trying for more than a year to get Essex Police to investigate his childhood abuse by the wider ring, echoed Mr Saunders’s comments.

He said: “King was being paid by the people we were supposed to be relying on take him off the streets. It’s just ridiculous. I mean, King wasn’t exactly a bank robber. He was a kiddie-fiddler. So who was he meant to be informing on? Who did he have dirt on? It’s a big can of worms.”

A document detailing the officer’s 1993 admission about King was shown to the YA by a child protection worker involved in the 1989/90 Shoebury Sex Ring case and the 1993 investigation.

They are one of seven whistleblowers who have told the YA about their concerns that King’s crimes – and his accomplices – were never properly investigated.

Children abused by the Shoebury ring told charity workers about other men and addresses that King and fellow ringleader Brian Tanner took them to, but no other abusers were prosecuted.

Meanwhile, King and Tanner – both now dead – were given a last-minute plea bargain which saw them receive minimal sentences.

Essex Police said last week it would not comment on the use of King as an informant, owing to national legislation governing police use of ’covert human intelligence sources’.

But a spokesman said: “We robustly investigate all information received in connection with crimes committed in the present and the past and we will continue to do so. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, contact Essex Police on 101.”

Also in the news

Add Comment

Add Comment


Comments are not moderated

Clair Aust · 1 days ago · Report

The only assumption could be that senior police were involved in the ring and keeping that vile abuser on the books was actually a way of covering their arses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *