Two men who groomed and then systematically abused four boys at the home they shared have been convicted today (7 June 2012).
Andrew George Mower, 67 (13.8.44) of Tryfan Close, Ilford and his lodger Darren Leslie Smith, 39 (14.1.73), both appeared for trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 16 April 2012 charged with abusing the boys.
After an 8-week trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict on all counts today (7 June 2012).
Mower was convicted of 10 counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, an attempted rape and three rapes. The counts relate to four boys aged between 13 and 16 years over a five-year period between 2006 and 2011. He was also found guilty of 1 count of possessing indecent photographs of children.
Smith was convicted of 13 counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, 12 counts of rape and two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child. The counts relate to the same four boys in the same five-year period.
He was also found guilty of several representative counts of possession of indecent images.
The court heard how Mower would identify and contact potential victims by surfing the Internet and engaging in online chats with young boys. He would specifically target young vulnerable boys on specialist rail forums before encouraging them to meet in person at train conventions or transport museums.
Once they had agreed to meet him Mower would begin to ask inappropriate questions of a sexual nature and invite them to visit his home in Ilford. Here they were introduced to Smith whose apparent aim was to impress the boys with his knowledge of smart phones and computer technology.
The boys would be given mobile phones from Mower which he used to maintain and control regular contact with them. Mower and Smith would then manipulate contact the boys had with their family and friends in a bid to alienate them.
The jury heard how the men would allow the boys freedom within their home, offer them gifts and money and ply them with alcohol before persuading them to undress and perform sexual acts. This progressed to both men sexually assaulting and raping the boys.
It was only when the boys came into contact with one another, both in person and on the computer rail forums, that they realised the scale of the abuse and felt compelled to report the offences to police.
An investigation was launched by officers from the Met's Sapphire Command (SC&O2) Complex Case Team and on 2 August 2011 both Mower and Smith were arrested at their home address at Tryfan Close.
Detective Chief Inspector Carl Mehta, who led the investigation, said at the conclusion of the case:
"We want all sex offenders to know that our dedicated teams are there to trace and pursue them until they are bought to justice. Mower and Smith deliberately targeted young and vulnerable boys by claiming to share their hobbies and interests. They gained their trust, alienated them from loved ones in a bid to exercise control over them and then sexually assaulted them.
"I pay tribute to the enormous courage of each victim who came forward and reported their abuse and supported this prosecution to bring these men to justice. We hope that this result will bring them and their families the sense of closure they fully deserve and we would urge any other victims to come forward and speak to us."
Mower and Smith are remanded in custody and due to be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 6 July 2012.