Couple jailed for allowing their adopted daughters to be abused

A couple who allowed their adopted daughters to be abused by two paedophiles were jailed today for child cruelty after a judge condemned their “deplorable and terrible betrayal of trust”.

The young sisters, from Trafford, Greater Manchester, were abused while in the care of two friends of their parents whom they called “uncle”.

Their adoptive parents, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, knew of the abuse but did not intervene as the men “helped them with money and a car”.

The 56-year-old father was also convicted of abusing the older girl over a six-year period and was jailed for nine years at Manchester Minshull Street crown court. His wife, 55, was jailed for five years.

The husband was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life. The couple had denied charges of failing to protect the children, who are now 10 and 16, but were convicted of child cruelty in August.

Last year, paedophiles Colin Molloy and Sam Nelson were jailed for a string of sexual offences against the two girls, which started when they were seven and 13.

Molloy, 46, admitted nine counts of raping the younger girl. Nelson, 43, pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with both. The girls complained to their mother about the men and the father was made aware of Molloy, but they did nothing.

Judge Jonathan Geake told them: “This was a deplorable and total failure to protect those two girls from the risks posed. These were children adopted by you and because of their unfortunate start in life they were probably more vulnerable than other children.”

The parents relied on babysitting, lifts home and, to some extent, cash from Molloy and Nelson, the judge said. “You were prepared to put your own practical convenience before their safety,” he added.

“No one can know how much damage this has done to these two girls both physically and psychologically.”

Outside court, Detective Sergeant Charlotte Whalley, of Trafford Public Protection Investigation Unit, said: “Even though these girls had the bravery to tell an adult what was happening to them, it was allowed to continue. Thankfully the girls were courageous enough to report the matter to the police.”

The jury had watched police video interviews with the younger girl, who said she had told her teacher last January about the abuse. She said Nelson had been “doing rude stuff to her” at his flat after school while both parents were at work.

The girl said: “My mum said they could not do anything because he helped them out with money and a car.”

Social services became involved when the allegations were made and removed the children from their home, which was unfit for habitation and unsanitary. The girls are now in foster care elsewhere.

Pauline Newman, Manchester council’s director of children’s services, said the vast majority of adoptive parents did a fantastic job. She said: “This case must not detract from that fact.”