Norfolk 'paedophile ring' case: Prosecutor claims children's testimony true

By Julian Sturdy
BBC Look East

Published
image captionThe defendants, including Marie Black (top left) and Jason Adams (bottom left), deny sexually abusing children

Five children who made "horrific and graphic" allegations of sexual abuse told the truth, a jury has heard.

Prosecutor Angela Rafferty, QC, made her closing speech in the trial of 10 people accused of being in a paedophile ring.

Six women and four men deny multiple charges of sexual assault in a trial at Norwich Crown Court.

Sarah Elliott, speaking for defendant Marie Black, said commonsense shows the accused were not "a paedophile ring".

Mrs Rafferty said the weeks had been an ordeal and the jury needed a "cool-eyed, cool appraisal" of the evidence.

"These defendants to a lesser or greater extent have perpetrated sexual and physical abuse on five young children," she said.

"They all knew and they all took part."

Mrs Rafferty said the children's accounts did "not point in the direction of these children being liars. They are pointing in the direction of these children telling you the truth".

Allegations were not made up by foster carers and it was also "nonsense" to say the abuse was put in their heads by social workers, she said.

'Inadequacies'

Sarah Elliott, for Mrs Black, 34, who had earlier declined to give any evidence in her own defence, said commonsense would tell the jury the 10 defendants did not form a paedophile ring.

Mrs Black denies a total of 26 allegations of abuse including child rape.

"It is a terrible combination of the fact of circumstances, some self-inflicted, that have led to her being in the dock," said Ms Elliott.

"Maybe in part of her own weaknesses and her own inadequacies."

Ms Elliott said some of what the children said was demonstrably untrue, and others were rooted in reality, but had been corrupted.

The defendants are Michael Rogers, 53, from Romford, Marie Black, 34, Carol Stadler, 59, Anthony Stadler, 63, Nicola Collins, 36, Andrew Collins, 52, Judith Fuller, 32, Denise Barnes, 34, Kathleen Adams, 84, and Jason Adams, 43, all from Norwich.

They all deny the sexual charges. Mr Adams admits four cruelty charges.

The trial continues.

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