10th Dec, 2016

Ex-police constable from Coventry faces child rape charge at trial

Coventry Editorial 23rd Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A former Warwickshire police special from Coventry faces a further charge of child rape at a trial.

Ronald Potter (78) of Tippers Lane, Fillongley, Coventry had the charge added against him, as three men accused of sexually abusing an under-age boy after he had run away from a Midlands children’s home declined to give evidence.

But another of the 12 defendants in the dock at Warwick Crown Court told the jury he performed a sex act on the boy while another man watched – but thought he was 17 or 18 at the time.

The jury has been told the boy was in fact 14 when he was first pimped out to a succession of men who it is alleged raped and sexually abused him in 2009 and 2010.

Standing trial are two men accused of acting as pimps for the boy, one when he was 14 and the other when he was 15, and ten men, including Potter, said to have taken part in sex acts with him.

The alleged pimps are Stephen Kelly (39) of Elm Road, Bourneville, Birmingham, and Tahir Hussain (34) of St Josephs Road, Ward End, Birmingham.

They have both denied various offences of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, as well as committing sexual offences against the boy themselves, with Hussain also facing a charge of trafficking the boy for sexual exploitation.

Also facing abuse charges are Potter, Kevan Tudor (55) from Erdington, Birmingham; Darren Clegg (28) of Hillside Drive, Great Barr; Peter Joynes (58) of Canberra Way, Highgate, Birmingham; ; Peter Lowe (68) of Salisbury Close, Moseley; Ian Prestleton (54) of High Haddon Road, Cradley Heath; Alan Priest (63) of Haywood Bridge, Halesowen; Ashley Sherrington (24) of Dawlish Drive, Bentley, Stoke-on-Trent; Robert Bailey (27) of Watt Road, Erdington; and Michael Godbold (57) of Shepherds Bush, London.

Prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC has told the jury the boy had been picked up by Kelly at Birmingham’s New Street Station.

As defence cases began in the fifth week of the trial, Martin Liddiard, for Kelly, told the jury: “On behalf of Stephen Kelly, we do not call any evidence.”

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano asked: “Has he been advised that if he chooses not to do so, the jury can draw inferences?”

Mr Liddiard confirmed that Kelly had been told.

Barristers for Tudor and Joynes also said they would not be giving evidence.

But Clegg told the jury he was at the time in a relationship with Joynes, who he had met when he was 19.

He said they met the boy in December 2009 at a red light district and went back to Joynes’ home where he claimed the sex act was performed as Joynes watched.

At Miss Cottage’s request, further charges of rape were added against Hussain as well as Potter, with alternative charges of penetrative sexual activity if the jury was not satisfied the boy was not consenting.

Both men denied those additional charges, as they have all the allegations they face.

The trial continues.