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7 November 2014, 15:21
Two London men have today been found guilty of sexually exploiting girls in Southend following a two-week trial.
Colin Trotman and Glenn Dyett forced the teenage girls to engage in sexual acts in return for drugs and alcohol.
The men had initially seen the girls during an array of visits to the seafront area in Autumn 2012, eventually identifying them as vulnerable due to their age and substance addiction.
The unemployed men groomed the girls online and via text message before travelling from their homes in east London to meet them in Southend on a number of occasions between August and November 2012.
On Friday, November 7 they were found guilty of a number of sexual offences following a two-week trial at Basildon Crown Court.
Essex Police began an investigation in November 2012 following rape allegations from three teenage girls in the seaside town which were soon linked together.
Trotman and Dyett were arrested in February and June 2013 respectively and subsequently charged with a string of offences.
Trotman, of Wetherell Road, Hackney was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of engaging in sexual activity with two underage teenage girls and one count of conspiracy to meet a child following sexual grooming.
Dyett of Elderfield Road, Clapton was charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child, one count of sexual assault and one count of conspiracy to meet a child following sexual grooming.
The jury at Basildon Crown Court found 45-year-old Colin Trotman guilty of one offence of rape and one count of sexual activity with a child. He was also found guilty of two counts of facilitating permission of child sex offences. Fifty-six-year-old Glenn Dyett was found guilty of three accounts of sexual activity with a child.
This successful prosecution for Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) offences is the first in Essex.
During the trial, Basildon Crown Court heard how the men regularly travelled to Southend in Trotman’s distinctive green convertible BMW after being introduced to the girls on social networking sites.
Trotman and Dyett met the girls on the seafront and gave them cigarettes, cannabis and alcohol in return for sexual favours, many of which took place in Trotman’s BMW.
If the girls refused their advances they were sexually assaulted.
Here's DCI Simon Werrett from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
In a statement DCI Simon Werrett said: "As a result of Trotman and Dyett being convicted today, society should be relieved that they are likely to spend a considerable time behind bars and so will be protected from their hideous, perverse and dangerous minds. The two men are despicable characters who not only sexually exploited and assaulted these young girls, but refused to admit their guilt and forced their victims to go through the harrowing experience of giving evidence and reliving their nightmares. These girls were vulnerable, alcohol-dependant, socially-active teenagers who were experiencing difficulties at home. They were naïve and troubled. At a time when society should have been letting them develop into young adults, two criminals appeared on the scene and targeted them; ruining their futures. We pay tribute to these young girls who had the courage to come forward and then give evidence at court, enabling these two men to be brought to justice. In doing so, the girls have protected others from being exploited by Trotman and Dyett.
"CSE is difficult to investigate as offenders target vulnerable girls, often knowing they are unlikely to be believed. However, in this case, Trotman and Dyett failed. The girls were believed and support was provided. Tackling CSE is one of the most important challenges facing the police service and the only way to tackle it effectively is through multi-agency working and a partnership approach. This prosecution has shown that Essex Police and Southend Borough Council have worked together effectively to not only help jail two dangerous sexual predators but also identify and protect a number of teenage girls. Safeguarding and support is well in place to prevent them from any further harm.
"On behalf of Essex Police, I would like to thank Southend Borough Council for their support and assistance throughout the past 18 months. This partnership approach has been key to bringing home this prosecution. In Essex, we are committed to tackling the problem of CSE and working with partners to ensure we achieve the best possible outcomes for the county’s youngsters. I would like to thank Ds Shirley Cole and her team who worked within this investigation. Over this year and a half, they have operated tirelessly to ensure justice was seen and also spent countless hours building confidence with the teenage victims. It is their tenacity and determination which now ensures these two dangerous offenders will be behind bars for several years. Finally, and again on behalf of Essex Police, I hope this prosecution goes a long way in illustrating the force’s and partner agency approach to persuading victims of child sexual exploitation to have confidence in reporting crimes to the police.”
Throughout the investigation Essex Police worked closely with Southend Borough Council to ensure the safeguarding of the victims and their families.
Councillor Anne Jones, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, says: "We are very pleased with the verdict and for the families involved. I hope that these girls can now start to rebuild their lives. We will of course still be supporting the individuals and families as necessary and each young woman continues to have an individual multi agency personal support plan in place. Throughout the police investigation and trial, the safeguarding of the victims and their immediate families has been our absolute priority and we have been working closely with Essex Police and the Local Safeguarding Children Board to ensure this, and will continue to do so."