‘Wicked’ Redbridge paedophiles who posed as trainspotters to groom and molest boys jailed

Two “wicked” paedophiles who posed as trainspotters to molest four vulnerable boys have today been jailed for a minimum of ten years each.

Former teacher Andrew Mower, 67, and Darren Smith, 39, groomed the boys, aged 13 to 16, in online chat rooms and specialist rail forums before inviting them to meet at train conventions or transport museums.

Mower lured them to the house he shared with Smith in Tryfan Close, Redbridge, plying them with drink and gifts.

The boys were then blindfolded, handcuffed to a bed and abused and raped repeatedly while being filmed, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Mower, the instigator, introduced the boys to Smith, who tried to seduce them with his knowledge of smart phones and computer technology.

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They kept tabs on their victims by issuing them with mobile phones and restricting contact with their friends and family in a bid to alienate them.

Mower and Smith persuaded the youngsters that they were “increasing their confidence” and encouraged them to be “adventurous”.

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It was only when the boys met in person and chatted online that they realised the scale of the abuse, which occurred between 2006 and 2011, and contacted police.

The pair were arrested at their home in August.

Mower was previously jailed for five years in 1971 after abusing a 12-year-old boy, then jailed for three years in 1989 for molesting a 10-year-old boy, the court heard.

Following an eight-week trial, he was convicted of 10 counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, one count of attempted rape and three counts of rape.

Smith was convicted of 13 counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, 12 counts of rape and two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child.

Both were also found guilty of possessing child porn after police found almost 20,000 images on Smith’s computer, 230 of which were at level five, the worst kind of depravity.

Sentencing Mower and Smith to an indefinite sentence, judge David Radford described their crimes as “the cynical and wicked ensuing of children who became victims of your cruel and perverted behaviour.”

Mower and Smith denied all the charges against them.

They have been banned from working with children and if released must sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

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