Posted on September 12, 2014

Police Probe into Claims Vulnerable under-Age Girls Were Abused on Merseyside

John Siddle, Liverpool Echo, September 8, 014

Police are investigating new claims that gangs of Asian men abused vulnerable under-age girls on Merseyside.

Allegations of grooming, beatings and sex attacks by a paedophile ring are centred on St Helens, Accrington and Preston.

They follow similar scandals in Rochdale and Rotherham.

A woman told police that she was groomed and molested in return for alcohol, cigarettes and drugs while in care at Briars Hey care home in Rainhill, near St Helens.

The woman, in her 20s, claims care workers turned a blind eye.

She said: “I went into care at 14. Staff turned a blind eye while I was was groomed, battered, kidnapped and raped.

“They did nothing.”

She first went to the Dyke Nook home, near Accrington, in 1999.

She said “They (the alleged attackers) knew the staff. Most were taxi drivers who offered us lifts to school.”

She soon learned the men wanted sex–and were brutal if denied it.

The woman added: “One of them broke my nose. He gave me a backhander.”

After a couple of months the girl was moved to the Briars Hey home, which closed in 2005. A taxi driver groomed her with gifts of cigarettes, alcohol and a phone. She said he attacked her in his car after getting her drunk.

She was found staggering in the road and said police called her a “silly cow.”

Two weeks later a taxi took her from the home to a house in Preston, where she was raped and then forced to have sex with a number of men for months.

She said: “There were four or five girls there, all from homes.

“Two guys kept an eye on us. We called them ‘The Keepers’.”

When she tried to flee she was hunted down, then gang-raped and beaten, she said.

The woman, who lives with her partner and four children, believes at least 60 youngsters suffered similar ordeals to hers.

Lancashire Police have been investigating her claims since 2012.

A spokesman said: “We are committed to preventing child abuse, helping victims and bringing offenders to justice.”