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Some originally believed they were in loving relationships with defendants and said they initially had sex with their friends out of a sense of “loyalty”, while others were beaten, threatened or locked in rooms if they refused.
Northumbria Police said XY had been directed not to go to the “parties” and warned he would face arrest if he attended.
Members targeted vulnerable women and girls, meeting them on social media, at so-called “sex parties” or even preying on them in the street under the pretext of offering a warm car or safe place to say.
Victims were offered money, alcohol and drugs including cocaine and mephedrone before being forced or coerced into sex, or becoming incapacitated and waking up to realise they were being raped.
He admitted attending so-called “sex parties” where victims were abused but said he left early and Judge Moreland found no evidence that he was guilty of any sexual misconduct towards any complainants.
David Hislop QC, representing a defendant, said XY had 13 previous convictions, including 26 offences of dishonesty.
During the legal submissions, the informant claimed he acted as an informal taxi driver for some defendants and made a series of lurid allegations against the police, including claims of racism and that he was asked to plant drugs.
Despite efforts to protect his identity, using reporting restrictions and a screen in court, he claimed the Operation Shelter trials had forced him into hiding.
“I should never have been dragged into that courtroom for people to see me.
It has identified more than 700 potential victims since 2014 and so far resulted in the conviction of 93 people jailed for a total of more than 300 years.