Six (Musel-)men appear in court accused of child sex exploitation in Banbury
This isn’t Operation Bullfinch – Thames Valley Police have moved on – this is the work of the long term Kingfisher Team. Banbury is a market town in the Cotswolds, known for its market, its cakes, andÂ the Cross where the fine ladyÂ rode on her white horse. Now featuring in theÂ newsÂ for other reasons.
SIX men have appeared in court charged with grooming and abusing six underage girls in Banbury.
The men, who appeared at Banbury Magistrates’ Court today, were charged with serious sex crimes last night after police raided five properties in the town on Tuesday.
The charges relate to five girls aged between 13 and 15 and are said to have taken place between 2011 and this year.Â All of the men, who are aged between 19 and 21, were remanded in custody to appear at Oxford Crown Court on July 4. (More)
From theÂ Oxford Mail, the local newspaper which has throughly reported the Operation Bullfinch cases, in contrast to many other local newspapers whose towns have been similarly blighted.
A FORMER secondary school headteacher has said she suspected her pupils were being targeted and groomed for sex in Banbury in the 1980s and ’90s.Â Anita Higham, Banbury School principal from 1985 to 1998, made the comments after six (Muslim) men – aged between 19 and 21 – were accused of abusing young teenage girls in the town from 2011 to this year.Â This has brought back memories for Mrs Higham of concerns she had during her time at Banbury High School.
“It seemed obvious when at lunchtime a car would come and collect people. They were men driving cars with blacked-out windows and they would encourage the girls to get in the back.Â And in those days there were lots of different exits from the school as there was not a fence all around the premises.Â The men driving the cars, I would have thought, were in their 20s. They must have been older than 17 because they were driving.
“They drove expensive cars and so I reasoned they had likely acquired them through the world of drugs.Â But people did not talk about grooming back then. With hindsight I do think they were being groomed.Â When I confronted some of the girls they usually responded with silence. My hope, if they were with their mothers, was that they would go home and have a conversation about it.Â But what I do remember was at the time it was very difficult to get anyone in the social services interested, or the local policeman.”
Thames Valley Police refused to comment on the former headteacher’s remarks yesterday.