EXCLUSIVE: Founder of child abuse charity calls for national change after YA reveals Essex Police hired notorious paedophile as an informant

ESSEX Police has been criticised for potentially endangering children after it was revealed the force recruited a notorious paedophile as an informant.

The YA has this week won a years-long legal battle against Government to force the release of the paedophile informant’s criminal record.

The documents reveal that Dennis King, who died last year, had 27 sexual offences to his name by the time the force admitted it was using him as a ‘registered informant’.

The documents reveal King – whose 1980s ‘Shoebury Sex Ring’ has been linked to Jason Swift murder suspect Lennie Smith – was once convicted of owning illegal pornographic images of sex with a human corpse.

The founder of one of Britain’s leading child abuse charities said the YA’s revelations should change policing forever.

Peter Saunders, from NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood), said: “Police must never use the lives and the safety of children as bartering chips to maintain the flow of information. What planet are these people on that they could even consider doing this? You couldn’t make this up. It’s like a real life Line of Duty.”

The release of King’s criminal record came days after police told one of his victims he would not receive justice for his years of violent sexual abuse.

The man – nicknamed Victim Six – was a victim of a paedophile ring led by King in the 1980s, which the authorities dubbed the ‘Shoebury Sex Ring’. His story was corroborated by hundreds of pages of official documents from a 1989-91 investigation into the ring, none of which have ever been placed in the public domain.

The paperwork even included Social Services records which said other children had told child protection workers in 1990 that they had seen Victim Six with the paedophiles. But police have marked his case for no further action, saying it does not meet the ‘evidential test’.

The YA revealed earlier this year that in 1993, a police officer had admitted to a children’s charity that King was a ‘registered informant’ and expressed concern that senior officers were trying to suppress further investigation of his crimes.

The founder of one of Britain’s leading child abuse charities said the YA’s revelations should change policing forever.”

The YA knew King was a convicted paedophile but did not have access to his criminal record.

Government files show King was first convicted as a juvenile, aged 11, of burglary.

His first sexual offence was committed at age 23, in 1958, with more sex offences following in 1959, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1978 and 1982.

His sex offences were interwoven with years of convictions for theft, fraud, receiving stolen goods, burglary and causing ABH.

In 1990 he was convicted of running the Shoebury ring but received a generous plea bargain which saw his potential life sentence chopped down to four years.

After his release, he racked up another 25 years of convictions for offences including taking indecent photographs of children, indecently assaulting children and possessing images of sex with a corpse.

Mr Saunders said: “It is outrageous that the police could even consider using a man with such an abhorrent background as any sort of informant. It’s almost beyond belief.”



Charles Thomson

Chief ReporterEmail: [email protected]