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Plymouth Sex Worker Given Five-Year Jail Term For Abusing Her Three Daughters

The case was described as "almost Victorian in its bleakness" by a crown prosecutor.

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A sex worker whose three daughters were sexually abused by her clients has been jailed for five years.

Plymouth crown court
Anthony Devlin / PA ARCHIVE IMAGES

Plymouth crown court

The woman, who is in her seventies but cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims, was convicted at Plymouth crown court of eight counts of child cruelty, relating to events between 1976 and 1988.

The jury was told that the woman brought clients to the family home and subjected the girls to physical abuse, including hitting them with "bamboo, belts, and brushes", and would keep them locked in a room for days, the BBC reported.

Men, including her boyfriends, were allowed to have sex with the girls when they were of "primary school age", the court heard.

One of the girls told the court that they were given a bucket to use as a toilet and at times became so thirsty they resorted to drinking their own urine before they were placed in children's homes by social services.

The Guardian reported that the eldest daughter told the court: "Quite a few times when punters were in the house we were locked in the bedroom. We had to pee in a bucket. We were in there so long that sometimes we had to drink our own pee."

The jury heard that one of the girls, now an adult, tried to kill herself when she was 7.

Police only became aware of the crimes in 2014, when one of the daughters went to a police station.

Sean Brunton, for the Crown, said: "This is a very sorry tale of child cruelty and sexual abuse which in some ways is almost Victorian in its bleakness."

The girls' mother was cleared of two counts of child cruelty. Her lawyer, Kerry Dowse, said that while she was an "inadequate person" she suffered from health difficulties and "had an upbringing and early childhood none of us could imagine".

Raymond Williams, 60, from Plymouth, was convicted of indecent assaults on one of the girls carried out in 1981 and 1982, which he denied. He was sentenced to three years in jail.

A second man, Ralph Burns, 57, was also due to stand trial to answer a rape charge died a fortnight before the case began.

Devon and Cornwall police declined to comment.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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