July 2011

Paedophile free !

Depraved Stanley Claridge, 81, served only nine years of his 15-year jail sentence for abusing dozens of kids for more than three decades.

March 2002

Sex abusers jailed after TV inquiry

Two paedophiles arrested after an investigation by the BBC’s Newsnight programme have been jailed for a total of 27 years.

Stanley Claridge, 72, (pic above) was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court earlier this week of a string of sex attacks on children dating back to the 1970s and jailed for 15 years.

The Essex-born former lorry driver, of Edale Close, Eastham, Wirral, was found guilty of 19 charges including rape, buggery and indecent assault.

His co-accused, Reginald Morton, (pic below) 73, an ex-market trader formerly of Aspendale Road, Tranmere, was jailed for 12 years after being convicted of three counts of rape and five of indecent assault.

A third man, former club singer David King, (pic below) has been jailed for five years

One of the men’s victims, Karen Claridge, now known as Shy Keenan, prompted the court case by contacting a journalist at the BBC’s Newsnight programme.

In a statement Ms Keenan said: “This nightmare has lasted for 35 years and it should never have been so difficult for me and all the other victims of these perverts to bring the truth out.”

King, 59, of Eastham Rake, Eastham, buried his head in his hands when he was convicted last week, during the same trial, of one count of rape and one of indecent assault.

Claridge and Morton were jailed on Monday but restrictions banning publication of reports of the trial were only lifted on Friday.

Both men were ordered to sign on to the sex offenders register for life.

The offences were said to have occurred mainly on Birkenhead’s Noctorum estate – they involved girls and a boy aged from six to 17, and took place betweeen 1975 and 1980.

During the hearing the jury was told how Claridge had committed an “appalling catalogue of abuse”, raping one of the young victims and also acting as her pimp by forcing her to have sex with numerous men aboard a ship.

‘So relieved’

Frustrated that her frequent efforts to expose her abuser had failed, the women eventually approached a Newsnight journalist to tell her story.

After the report was broadcast in November 2000, Merseyside Police and Wirral Social Services launched a joint investigation code-named Operation Phoenix, which resulted in the arrest of seven men.

One of them, Brian Kearney, 59, of Wallasey, Wirral was cleared of raping and indecently assaulting one girl, while a second indecent assault charge was dropped.

The judge ordered that rape, indecency and indecent assault charges against three other men should lie on the file after the Crown Prosecution Service said it was not in the public interest to proceed to trial.

Ms Keenan waived her right to anonymity and released a statement through publicist Max Clifford.

It read: “I am so relieved that justice has at last been done.”