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Victims of paedophile ring speak of abuse suffered in the 1980s

Five men including David Lightfoot from Ellesmere Port jailed for sexual assaults of young boys

David Lightfoot

Victims of a paedophile ring which included a man from Ellesmere Port have spoken of their agony in the 1970s and 80s.

A group of boys were targeted systematically with sexual abuse by a group of five men.

Operation Pallial by North Wales Police has seen David Lightfoot, 72, of Parklands View, Little Sutton, jailed for 10 years for his role in the abuse.

One victim who ave evidence against four of the defendants said he found it extremely difficult to talk about what had happened.

After being abused, he would drink alcohol to try to block out what happened.

He had only recently told his partner about what happened to him because he was too embarrassed to tell her the full extent of what had happened.

“I believe my alcohol issues are as a direct result of being abused,” he said.

David Lightfoot arriving during the trial at Mold Crown Court(Image: Robert Parry-Jones)

Lightfoot was convicted of six counts of indecent assault against a man and a sexual assault against a child during the hearing on Friday 25 September.

Jailed alongside him were four other men.

Former wrestler and Wrexham sex shop owner Mark Grainger, formerly known as Gary Cooke, aged 64, from Galway Road, Leicester, was convicted of 15 counts of indecent and sexual assault against children. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

A man who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Cooke as a child told how the defendant had stolen his childhood.

At 13, he said he was living with his mother and step-father, and was a normal child and the “laugh of the street”.

But his carefree life was ruined when he was introduced to Cooke by a friend.

He went off the rails, started glue-sniffing and drinking alcohol, and developed into a troublesome teenager.

“My parents could not understand why I had changed,” he said in his victim impact statement.

“I could not tell them.”

Former local radio presenter Roy Norry, aged 55, from Hamilton Road, Connah’s Quay, was convicted of six charges of indecent and sexual assault against a child. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Neil Phoenix, 63, of Windsor Road, New Broughton, Wrexham, was found guilty of the one charge he faced, indecent assault on a boy at the home of Gary Cooke, who was alleged to have been at the centre of a paedophile ring in the 1980s. Phoenix was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Former Metropolitan police officer Julian Huxley, 70, who at the time worked as a civil servant at Wrexham Barracks, was convicted of two charges of indecent assault on the main complainant, by a ten to two majority. He was sentenced to four and a half years.

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