A schoolgirl fell pregnant six times in four years during Britain’s worst child abuse scandal which affected up to 1,000 girls for 40 years.
An investigation by the Sunday Mirror exposed the horror – as sex gangs targeted girls as young as 11 who were lured from their families to be drugged, beaten and raped in an epidemic that victims believe is still ongoing.
Three people were murdered and two others died in tragedies linked to the scandal, with children suffering at the merciless hands of perverts and torturers in Telford since the 1980s.
One schoolgirl was pregnant six times in four years after being targeted by abusers in 2004.
She was just 15 when a suspected drug dealer in his 20s and another man preyed on her for four years.
The mixed-race girl had a baby to each man, and three abortions and one miscarriage. She lived in fear of violence.
Council files show social services, teachers and mental health workers were fully aware of what was happening but did little. They also failed to tell police.
Files admitted failing on “concerns of physical abuse and sexual exploitation”.
A police dossier, seen by our team, shows forensic evidence was destroyed by officers after they tried to contact the victim.
She is one of hundreds of victims that were failed, as case histories reveal many were ignored after reporting rapes to the police.
The scale of the abuse uncovered in Telford – population 170,000 – is feared to be the most brutal and long-running of all.
The Rotherham toll was put at 1,500 – but that was in a community of 260,000.
Our investigators have spoken to 12 victims, most of them unconnected.
They accused more than 70 abusers and claimed that violent rapes were still taking place just months ago.
One 14-year-old, groomed and abused after her phone number was sold to paedophiles, said: “I hated what was happening and my abusers made my skin crawl but I was told that if I said a word to anyone they’d come for my little sisters and tell my mum I was a prostitute.
“Night after night, I was forced to have sex with multiple men in disgusting takeaways and filthy houses.
“I must have been getting the morning after pill from a local clinic at least twice a week but no one asked any questions.
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“I fell pregnant twice and had two abortions. Hours after my second termination, I was taken by one of my abusers to be raped by more men.
“The worst moment came just after my 16th birthday when I was drugged and gang raped by five men.
“Days later, the ringleader turned up at my house and told me he’d burn it down if I breathed a word of what had happened.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by the abuse in Telford, please contact the Sunday Mirror: geraldine.mckelvie@
Telford’s Tory MP Lucy Allan has demanded a public inquiry and said our findings were “extremely serious and shocking”.
She said: “There must now be an independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Telford so that our community can have absolute confidence in the authorities.”
Specialist child abuse solicitor Dino Nocivelli, of Bolt Burdon Kemp, said: “These children were treated as sexual commodities by men who inflicted despicable acts of abuse.
“The survivors deserve an inquiry. They need to know how abuse took place for so long and why so many perpetrators have never been brought to justice.”
A mum and four girls have died in tragedies linked to the abuse.
Lucy Lowe, 16, was killed in 2000 along with her mother and sister after her 26-year-old abuser Azhar Ali Mehmood set fire to their house.
Cabbie Mehmood targeted Lucy in 1997 and she was just 14 when she gave birth to his daughter.
He was jailed for murdering Lucy, her mum Eileen and 17-year-old sister Sarah.
But he was never arrested nor charged in connection with any child sex crimes over his illegal relationship with the schoolgirl.
Lucy’s death was used as a warning to other girls, according to victims. One, drugged and gang raped by nine men two years later, said the threats drove her to attempt suicide.
She said: “I was scared my family would die like Lucy’s. I thought they’d only be safe if I killed myself.”
In 2002, 13-year-old Becky Watson died in a car accident that was reported at the time as a “prank”.
The Mirror investigation found she suffered two years of abuse by an Asian grooming gang which began when she was just 11.
Tragic diaries obtained by the Mirror reveal her torment at being made to “sleep around”.
Her mum Torron Watson said she repeatedly told police that Becky was being abused – and even gave them a list of suspects.
Vicky Round, a friend of Becky’s, was abused by the same gang who got her hooked on crack cocaine aged 12 and on heroin by 14.
She died aged 20 of a drugs incident and her sister Emma told us: “I have no doubt Vicky would still be here if she hadn’t been so badly abused – yet the people who made her life hell still walk the streets.”
Documents which will be passed to the Home Office reveals authorities knew of the horrors a decade before investigating – and shows how they tried to hamper our probe.
We presented our findings to Professor Liz Kelly, from the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit at London Metropolitan University.
She helped estimate the number of victims based on figures gathered by our investigators.
A police investigation called Operation Chalice identified more than 100 potential victims abused between 2007 and 2009.
Response by police and council
Police and local authority chiefs yesterday said all reports of child sex exploitation were taken “extremely seriously”.
Martin Evans, Assistant Chief Constable for West Mercia Police, said: “We are aware of the information you have provided.
“Tackling such horrific offences is the number one priority for police in Telford and we have not only increased officer numbers to tackle this type of offending, but use all of our resources and technology available to prosecute anyone who sexually offends against children whether that offending took place today, yesterday or decades ago.
“Operation Chalice in 2013 was one of the first national complex critical investigations into grooming offences. It centred on historic offending in Telford and Wrekin and ultimately resulted in seven men jailed for a total of 49 years.
“Over the subsequent years we have continuously focused on this area, whilst working very closely with our communities to ensure there is confidence to report issues people become aware of. Last year officials from the Home Office paid thanks to the commitment of staff working to protect young people at risk from sexual exploitation.”
A spokesperson for Telford and Wrekin Council said yesterday: “Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a vile, evil crime. It’s an issue right across the UK and has been for a long time.
“Telford will be covered by the national CSE review. We welcome this. All agencies continue to work very closely together and this remains our top priority.
“Our approach to CSE is now very different from 10-20 years ago. We have learned lots of lessons and are constantly on the lookout for indicators of CSE so that we can pass information on to police and bring these evil criminals to justice. Indeed, further cases are now coming to court.”
An OFSTED inspection into Telford’s child services in 2016 said: “Work with children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation is very strong… work to protect children who go missing from home or care is thorough and improving.”
Cops also said there could be as many as 200 perpetrators – but just nine were caged and the case was then closed.
Today our investigation reveals the authorities were told of the abuse epidemic more than a decade before Chalice.
Our probe – backed by documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act – found two predatory paedophiles began targeting girls from a local children’s home in 1981.
One of the abusers earned thousands a night for years trafficking girls around the country for sex with hundreds of men, according to one victim.
In another case, a 14-year-old was groomed by an 18-year-old Asian man in 1985.
After she had his baby he passed her to friends to have sex with and allegedly rape her.
The girl, now 47, says she reported her abuse to the council and school but does not believe action was taken.