Two men jailed for sex trafficking girls near Wrexham
Two men who preyed on teenagers from a care home near Wrexham and trafficked them for sex have been jailed.
John Purcell, 31, was jailed for 14 years for two counts of rape and four counts of sex trafficking.
John Delaney, 33, was given a 14-year sentence for two charges of rape, three of sex trafficking and a sexual assault.
Judge Rhys Rowlands told Mold Crown Court that the pair had “deliberately targeted” the pair of young girls.
He said they had been “fully aware” of their age and that they lived in care at the time of the events in 2011 and 2012.
Purcell, from Ellesmere Port, and Delaney, from Ruthin Road caravan site in Wrexham, would drive the girls to hotels, give them alcohol and pester them until they submitted to sex.
The court heard impact statements from the two victims, who are now in their twenties.
One, who has been diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress syndrome, said she has not been able to trust anyone since, and she thought about what happened to her every day.
The other victim wrote of how she has flash backs and nightmares that wake her in the night and make her panic.
“When I think about it, I feel anxious and sick”, she wrote.
She said she believed the abuse robbed her of the opportunity to get her dream job of being a social worker, because she was not able to achieve the academic grades she needed at school.
After hearing submissions from both of the men’s barristers, Judge Rowlands said it was an aggravating feature that the girls were plied with alcohol and offered drugs before they were taken advantage of.
He also said that while both men were travellers, this was a case that had nothing to do with ethnicity and “concerns two individuals who identified two girls and abused them”.
Purcell, who was coming to the end of a six-year sentence for burglary, sobbed throughout the hearing.
The prosecution was the result of Operation Lenten, run by North Wales Police in conjunction with Flintshire council social services.
Following the case, DCI Alun Oldfield praised the “courage” of the victims for giving evidence against men who “ruthlessly exploited” them.
He said: “Hopefully the victims can now move on with their lives in the knowledge that these paedophiles have been brought to justice.
“I would encourage anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse, no matter how long ago, to contact North Wales Police.
“We will deal with complaints in a supportive, sensitive and appropriate manner.”