Norfolk paedophile ring 'most harrowing' child abuse case ever

Marie Black (left) found guilty of being at the centre of a paedophile ring.

Four people have today been convicted of the serious child sexual abuse and cruelty of children.

Two women and two men were found guilty, following a three month trial, of a total of 40 offences, including rape, sexual assault and ABH, carried out against five victims all aged under 13 at the time.

The senior detective who led the investigation described it as the "most harrowing” child abuse case he had ever dealt with.

Today at Norwich Crown Court the jury returned guilty verdicts against:

Carol Stadler, 60 of Atkinson Close, Norwich, was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm but clear of nine other charges.
Michael Rogers, 46 of Romford in Essex, was found guilty of 14 counts including rape, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and cruelty.
Jason Adams, 44 of Aspland Road, Norwich, was found guilty of seven counts including rape, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and cruelty.

Black, Adams and Rogers have been remanded in custody while Stadler has been released on conditional bail until sentencing on 28 September.

Six other people charged with offences were found not guilty by the jury.

The verdicts follow a lengthy and detailed investigation by detectives from Norfolk Constabulary’s Safeguarding and Investigations Department.

Allegations were first reported to police in 2010 but it was in December 2012, when further evidence was disclosed, that police had sufficient evidence to progress the criminal investigation and eventually make the initial arrests in 2013.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Hornby, said: "Our priority has always been – and remains to this day - the safety, protection and welfare of the children in this case.

"In their tender years, these children were subjected to sexual abuse beyond most people’s imagination by adults they believed were telling the truth. It is the most harrowing case I have dealt with in 23 years of policing.

"Marie Black has been found to be at the centre of this abuse and incited others to commit abuse against them. She thought they would never speak out.

"Today’s verdict is testament to the children’s bravery and to the hard work of dedicated professionals from a range of agencies in this case. It has brought them the knowledge they are believed and, I hope, will encourage other victims of abuse to find their voice and come forward.”