South East Wales

Child abuse couple jailed for a total of 25 years

A separated couple who sexually and physically abused their children over prolonged period have been jailed for a total of 25 years.

The abuse happened in the Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly areas.

At Cardiff Crown Court, the man was jailed for 19 years and his ex-wife was given a six-year sentence - neither can be named for legal reasons.

The man, who is related to many of the victims, began the abuse in the 1990s and continued until his arrest in 2013.

During the six-week trial, the jury heard children, both the couple's own and ones in their care, were indecently and sexually assaulted by the man and both he and his former wife took part in sexual activity in front of them and made a child carry out sex acts.

The man, who is the father, step-father or grandfather of many of the victims, also struck his daughters, causing them injuries on a number of occasions.

At risk register

The couple were cleared of rape and other charges at trial and a second man, who faced one charge of indecent assault, was also acquitted.

One victim, now an adult, is serving a lengthy prison sentence for serious sexual abuse he carried out on children.

During his confession, he told police officers about the actions of his father and his former wife, prompting the launch of Operation Swan by Gwent Police which investigated the historical allegations.

Allegations made by the boy in the late 1990s were investigated by police at the time but no charges were brought.

The children were also known to social services, were on the at risk register and visited once a week by social workers in the 1990s for a number of reasons.

The guilty pair were ordered to sign on the sex offenders register after being convicted and on Friday, the court issued an order which banned the man from ever contacting the victims again.

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