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Alleged 'paedophile ring' leader denies holding 'grooming parties' at his home near Wrexham

Men from Chester and Ellesmere Port among seven defendants pleading not guilty to 47 separate sexual offences at Mold Crown Court

Mold Crown Court

THE jury in the trial involving seven men accused of historic child abuse in the Wrexham area has heard how the main complainant was introduced to the alleged ring leader - a former wrestler - through a friend.

He said Reginald Gareth Cooke (aka Gary Cooke) (aka Mark Grainger), who worked at a sex shop in Wrexham, showed him videos and indecently assaulted him at his home in Brymbo. A man from Farndon - Keith Stokes, 62, is also accused in the trial at Mold Crown Court.

It was alleged after the first incident, the complainant was passed on or pimped out to other men. Drinking parties would take place at Cooke’s address, prosecutor Eleanor Laws said, where they would watch porn, indecent photos would be taken and sexual abuse would take place.

Cooke, 64, from Galway Road, Leicester, faces 12 charges of indecent assault on a male, four charges of buggery, and two charges of indecency with a child, which he denies.

The complainant, now a man in his 40s, spoke of being introduced to David “Snowy” Lightfoot, the then licensee of a public house called the Jolly Tavern which became known as ‘Snowy’s’. It was alleged he would tell boys to help themselves to drink and then abuse them.

Lightfoot, 72, from Parklands View, Little Sutton, near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, faces five charges of indecent assault on a male, one charge of indecency with a child and three charges of buggary, which he denies.

Stokes, 62, a former haulier and abattoir manager, from Quarry Hill in Farndon, Chester, faces four charges of indecent assault on a male, one buggery, one attempted buggery and one charge of indecency with a child, which he denies.

There was no evidence Keith Stokes has ever been to Cooke’s house in Brymbo but it was alleged he had indecently assaulted the complainant, including once in a meadow.

Former Marcher Sound radio presenter Roy Norry, aged 55, from Hamilton Road, Connah’s Quay, faces fix charges of indecent assault on a male, one charge of buggery and one charge of attempted buggary.

The prosecution allege Norry, a lodger at Cooke’s house was involved in the sexual abuse of young boys who visited the house.

In his interview with the police he accepted he was a lodger and saw lots of young “chickens” – his name for Cooke’s boys - at the house, but said he was never involved in any of the abuse.

George Neil Phoenix, 63, of Windsor Road, New Broughton, Wrexham, faces one charge of indecent assault on a male. He was said to be a lodger at Cooke’s house and worked as a taxi driver.

The prosecution said he was present when young boys were being plied with drink at Cooke’s house and at Lightfoot’s and he was present in and around the grooming parties held at Cooke’s house and had sexually assaulted the complainant. He denies the charge.

Civil servant Edward Julian Huxley, aged 70, from Lower Road, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire, faces two charges of indecent assault on a male, as does retired teacher Roger Owen Griffiths, 76, of Coed Efa Lane in New Broughton, Wrexham. Huxley denies ever meeting or knowing the complainant and said the allegations were a complete invention.

The complainant said he had met Roger Griffiths at Cooke’s house. It was alleged Griffiths abused him at Cooke’s home and also at a flat.

Miss Laws said the complainant did not know his surname but gave sufficient detail for “Roger” to be identified as Griffiths.

A total of six complainants would give evidence during the course of the trial, the jury was told. All of the charges have been denied.

Judge Rhys Rowlands has adjourned the trial until Friday when the evidence will start.

The trial continues.

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