Child sex beast in charity flat row (14.06.81)

News of the World, 14th June 1981

NOTW140681“Kenneth Martin was jailed in 1975 for his part in a child sex ring around the Playland amusement arcade in London’s Piccadilly”. More on Playland here.

Kenneth Martin was also jailed in 1987 during Operation Hedgerow, a police investigation into “Britain’s biggest child sex ring”. Details of Martin’s arrest here and more on Operation Hedgerow here.


  1. Troyhand said:

    Operation Hedgerow,2328952
    Glasgow Herald – 8 April 1989
    13 years for sex crimes

    A 65-year-old sex offender whose catalogue of abuse against boys dates back 47 years was jailed for 13 years at the Old Bailey yesterday. Two other men were also jailed, one for nine years and one for seven years.

    Kenneth Martin, who was convicted by a jury of 11 offences and pleaded guilty to a further four, was told by Judge Henry Pownall that he was a menace.

    “You have done enormous harm, almost unimaginable harm, to these boys because they did not for a period even know what they were sexually because of you.”

    Martin, who now walks with the aid of a stick, has committed offences against hundreds of boys and still has a “voracious” sexual appetite, said detectives who arrested him. “He needs a boy a day,” one of them said.

    Martin’s first conviction for a sex offence against a boy was for buggery of a 12-year-old in 1942. Since then he has received a string of prison sentences, including a term in Dartmoor, for offences against boys.

    Martin was variously convicted of or pleaded guilty to offences including buggery, aiding and abetting buggery, and indecent assault.

    Charles Wellings, 54, of Hugh Gaitskell House, Stamford Hill, London, was given a total of nine years after being convicted of five offences including buggery, aiding and abetting buggery, and indecent assault.

    Brian Howard-Edmonds, 60, of Fortunegate, Harlesden, north London, who pleaded guilty at the start of the six-week trila to six offences including buggery, attempted buggery and indecent assault, was given a total of seven years.

    A police surveillance operation, code-named Operation Hedgerow and launched with the co-operation of Brent social services, led to the current trial and also the unearthing by police of what was described as Britain’s biggest boy-for-sex ring.

    In February, at the end of a separate trial, four men, one of them a barrister, were jailed for a total of 34 years for involvement in that ring.

    The jury in the current trial heard that Operation Hedgerow began with a complaint from a 10-year-old boy.

  2. Troyhand said:
    Independent – 2 June 2014
    Fury in India as UK judge refuses extradition of convicted British paedophile

    Prosecutors have come under fire for their failure to secure the extradition of a convicted British sex offender wanted for 16 years as an alleged member of a foreign paedophile ring abusing Indian orphans.

    Raymond Varley, 66, a teacher from Halifax, is accused of making repeated trips to Goa during the 1980s and early 1990s to abuse children by paying the head of an orphanage where more than 150 boys and girls were sadistically abused and tortured.

    Mr Varley won his battle against extradition last month after a judge ruled that he was suffering from dementia, based on a report by his neuropsychologist, and that it was “unjust” and “oppressive” to return him to India for trial.

    The Indian authorities are understood to be angry that the Crown Prosecution Service failed to heed their request to commission their own expert to counter the claims after the issue only emerged late in the two-year extradition battle.

    “Successive home secretaries have failed to set up a unit dealing with international sex offending and we don’t have any specialist prosecutors,” said Christine Beddoe, a children’s rights campaigner. “Questions need to be asked why the CPS did not request an independent psychiatric assessment when they had the opportunity to do so.”

    An arrest warrant for Mr Varley was issued in 1996 by the Indian authorities, but he was never caught after regularly moving home between Thailand, Slovenia, Mexico and Britain. He was finally run to ground in Bangkok where authorities revoked his visa and sent him back to the UK.

    He had previously served time in prison until the mid-1980s and was given treatment at Wormwood Scrubs to deal with his sexual offending. Mr Varley claimed to have been a changed man and said that he left the country because of the public reaction to the nature of his crimes.

    Widespread abuse linked to the orphanage in Goa was revealed in 1991 after police raided the flat of an Anglo-German social worker for the Catholic Church, Dr Freddie Peats, and found 2,305 obscene images. They included one showing a six-year-old boy blindfolded and strapped to the wall with drugs being pumped into his testicles.

    Children identified one of the foreign abusers as “Raymond from Thailand”, according to court documents. Mr Varley was identified from photographs and his passport details at a nearby hotel where he stayed, according to Indian police.

    Among the allegations against Mr Varley are that he abused two boys aged five and seven and that he photographed them in the nude, according to Indian authorities. However Mr Varley – who changed his name to Martin Ashley in 2000 – was not arrested until May 2012 in his hometown of Halifax, West Yorks.

    “I have had no involvement whatsoever with abusing children in India,” he said in a statement of his defence. “I have had no involvement in child sex offences since my last conviction in the 1980s.”

    Dr Peats was jailed for life for in 1996 while two foreigners, an Australian and a New Zealander, were extradited to India and were sentenced to 10 and seven years behind bars.

    As part of his defence, Mr Varley’s legal team sent the former chief inspector of prisons Lord Ramsbotham to India to examine conditions – but he concluded that his human rights would not be breached.

    Mr Varley had claimed to have bad knees, high blood pressure and severe depression. “Should I be sent to India, I would have no alternative but to commit suicide,” he said in his defence statement.

    District Judge Quentin Purdy said that Mr Varley was a “vulnerable individual” due to dementia and should not be extradited. The Indian authorities appealed the decision and a hearing will be heard later this month.

    A spokeswoman for India’s Central Bureau of Investigation said: “A CBI team is presently in London to actively assist the Crown Prosecution Service. The CBI is closely monitoring progress of the case with the active cooperation of the Indian High Commission.”

    “The accused Raymond Varley has committed grave offences against young minor children in India, which continues to generate widespread public outrage. The CBI is strongly committed to pursuing the case for extradition of accused Raymond Varley.

    “Since the matter is sub judice, CBI would not like to comment on the specifics of the case.”

    A CPS spokesperson said: “The CPS, on behalf of the Government of India, has appealed the District Judge’s decision to discharge Mr Varley. The defence evidence regarding dementia was challenged robustly at the extradition hearing.”

    Mr Varley’s solicitor did not return calls for comment.

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