Paedophile Dennis King struck a deal to get out of jail early to commit 15 Cambs offences

PUBLISHED: 13:01 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:27 20 August 2020

Dennis King committed offences in and around Peterborough between 1996 and 2015. Picture: Archant/Archive/Anglia Press Agency

Dennis King committed offences in and around Peterborough between 1996 and 2015. Picture: Archant/Archive/Anglia Press Agency

Archant/Archive/Anglia Press Agency

A paedophile police informant struck a deal to get out of jail early, freeing him to commit more than 15 offences in Cambridgeshire, a new podcast series has revealed.

Dennis King, seen in this 2013 mugshot, was repeatedly convicted of sexual offences in and around Peterborough.Dennis King, seen in this 2013 mugshot, was repeatedly convicted of sexual offences in and around Peterborough.

Dennis King committed offences in and around Peterborough between 1996 and 2015, including indecently assaulting and taking pornographic photographs of children.

When police raided his March home in 2013, they found he had been abusing boys, photographing it, then framing the photographs and using them to decorate his flat.

In 2018, another child abuse prosecution against King – now living in Eye – was abandoned after he was diagnosed as terminally ill. He died that November.

A true crime podcast series, from Archant, the publisher of this newspaper, has revealed the depraved child molester was only able to commit these crimes because he was let off over serious offences in Essex in 1990.

True crime podcast Unfinished: Shoebury's Lost Boys draws on interviews with whistleblowers from the Southend case, as well as a trove of paperwork that they saved. Picture: Charles ThomsonTrue crime podcast Unfinished: Shoebury's Lost Boys draws on interviews with whistleblowers from the Southend case, as well as a trove of paperwork that they saved. Picture: Charles Thomson

The new series – Unfinished: Shoebury’s Lost Boys – tells how King struck a generous plea bargain after being caught running a sprawling paedophile ring from Southend-on-Sea.

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His victims were told he would get 15 years to life – but then prosecutors dropped and watered-down charges without consulting the children he had groomed and pimped out.

He got just four years after the court accepted his claim that the victims – as young as ten – were prostitutes who had instigated their own abuse, so had suffered little psychological damage.

Dennis King (right) arriving at court in Essex in 1990, with his co-defendant Brian Tanner (left). Picture: Anglia Press AgencyDennis King (right) arriving at court in Essex in 1990, with his co-defendant Brian Tanner (left). Picture: Anglia Press Agency

King continued receiving lenient sentences for years afterwards. Convicted of indecent assaults at Peterborough Crown Court in 2000, he was told he was eligible for 10 years – but received one year and served only five months.

The podcast recounts a five-year investigation by Essex’s Yellow Advertiser newspaper into concerns by whistleblowers who worked on the 1990 case.

In 2019, the newspaper unearthed evidence that King had been a ‘registered informant’ and a senior officer had tried to block investigations into him in Essex.

It also discovered a link between King and the so-called Dirty Dozen paedophile gang, which was responsible for the deaths of Jason Swift, Mark Tildesley and Barry Lewis.

The series has been named one of the best journalism podcasts of 2020 and the story has been likened to “a real-life Line of Duty”.

To listen or subscribe, visit: www.podfollow.com/unfinished-1/


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