Husband and wife swingers jailed for 36 years over sexual abuse of teenage girls

A husband and wife described as the “Fred and Rose West of Barry” have been jailed for a total of 36 years for grooming and raping teenage girls.

Peter Griffiths, 65, and Avril Griffiths, 61, (pictured) abused the girls in a number of locations including at a sex party on a fishing boat.

The pair, who took part in dogging and group sex, were found guilty of rape, indecent assault and taking indecent photos of a child relating to three female victims between 1978 and 1993.

On Thursday Cardiff Crown Court heard the couple acted together to “fulfil their sexual fantasies” by grooming the girls for sex before they were raped and assaulted.

One girl was repeatedly raped by Peter Griffiths who was “aided, abetted and encouraged” by his wife, with the girl being plied with alcohol and forced to dress up like a “slag” before passing her between two men for sex.

The couple also took her to dogging sites where she was forced to have sex with Peter Griffiths in his van while strangers watched from outside.

She originally made a complaint to South Wales Police in 2000 but the force chose not to take up her allegations.

A second girl was also taken on dogging trips as a teenager, and encouraged by the couple to pose semi-naked for them when she was just 14. They told her she could make money by letting them take her photo.

She told the couple she wanted the photos destroyed quickly after they were taken but the negatives were kept for the couple’s “sexual fulfilment”.

A third girl who was also groomed and befriended by the couple was drugged and woke to find herself between the couple in bed, with Peter Griffiths having sex with her while his wife pinned her down by her shoulders.

She said she next woke up in the bed the next morning with her thighs soaked in blood.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins QC said: “That was her first introduction to sex.

“What an awful, painful experience that must have been. It has lived with her for the rest of her days.

“She is left a broken woman.”

The court heard statements from the now adult women, who are in their 40s, with each describing developing mental health problems and turning to drink and drugs after they were abused.

The first woman said the Griffiths had “destroyed my life” and left her suffering with depression, anxiety and paranoia.

The second woman described herself as “vulnerable” as a child, adding: “That’s why they targeted me.”

The third woman told the court: “Even though I’m a mother in my 40s, I’m still scared of them.”

Peter Griffiths was sentenced to 21 years in jail for eight counts of rape, three of indecent assault and two of taking an indecent photograph of a child .

His wife was sentenced to 15 years in jail for five counts of rape, two of taking an indecent photograph of a child and two of indecent assault.

Prosecutor Caroline Harris said: “This has had a devastating impact on each of the victims’ lives.

“The jury convicted both defendants on every count.

“They represent a series of offensive, repeated, and serious sex abuse.”

Judge Jenkins told the couple they must have thought they had got away with their crimes after the investigation into them was dropped in 2000, but added: “That was not the case.”

The judge said: “The offences were committed against young, vulnerable and impressionable girls.

“The rape was violent and sordid.

The couple, from Barry Road, Barry, South Wales, were told they would be registered sex offenders when released from prison.

After the sentencing, Detective Sergeant David Rich from South Wales Police said: “Today’s sentences reflect the gravity of the crimes which have been committed by Peter and Avril Griffiths.

“This couple who were responsible for appalling abuse have now been brought to justice.

“I would like to commend the three victims in this case who have shown immense strength and courage throughout the investigation and court proceedings. I hope today’s sentence provides some closure for them and their families as they attempt to move forward with their lives.

“Survivors of abuse by predators like Peter and Avril Griffiths deserve to see them brought to justice and we are determined to do all we can to help them.”

Detective Chief Inspector Justin Evans said following the couple’s conviction two more people had reported allegations of non-recent sexual offences to police, which are currently being investigated.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) South Wales Police / PA Wire.