“I have tried to think of convictions that make him less suitable to act as a Covert Human Intelligence Source in an operation of this sort ... XY was later arrested in September 2015 on suspicion of inciting sexual activity with a child after a teenage girl claimed a man approached her and made an indecent proposition, but was told he would face no action.David Hislop QC, representing a defendant, said XY had 13 previous convictions, including 26 offences of dishonesty.During the legal submissions, the informant claimed he acted as an informal taxi driver for some defendants and made a series of lurid allegations against the police, including claims of racism and that he was asked to plant drugs.
The scale of abuse uncovered, and the fact one of the victims was in local authority care, has prompted a serious case review that will report in December on “what lessons can be learned and how to improve safeguarding”.
More than 700 victims have been identified in the investigation code-named Operation Sanctuary, which bears similarities to the grooming scandals in Rotherham and Rochdale.
Trials have been underway since 2015 but can now be reported for the first time after reporting restrictions were lifted.
Judge Penny Moreland turned down an application to have cases against some defendants thrown out over the alleged abuse of process.
But she rejected XY’s evidence in its entirety, telling the court: “I do not regard myself as bound to act on evidence which is so inherently unreliable, so lacking in credibility and in my view so clearly dishonest.” XY admitted attending the “parties” but said he left early and Judge Moreland found no evidence that he was guilty of any sexual misconduct towards any complainants.