Tuesday 31st January 2023
A paedophile at the centre of a plot to abuse young children has been sentenced to 26 years.
Simon Mallen was the subject of a covert policing operation involving officers from Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit (YH ROCU) in which it was revealed he was planning to host a gathering at his home at which multiple children would be abused.
The jury heard disturbing evidence during a five-week trial in which Mallen encouraged guests to bring children to his home back in September 2019.
The 39-year-old also admitted he was a paedophile, described himself as ‘sadistic’ and claimed he had ‘access’ to a number of children. YH ROCU officers captured evidence of his plans and worked with colleagues from Northumbria Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) to bring him to justice.
Following a complex investigation, Mallen, of Alnwick, Northumberland, stood trial at Newcastle Crown Court where he denied the offences. A jury found him guilty of arranging the commission of a child sex offence and two counts of sexual assault by touching in November 2021. He had previously pleaded guilty to possession of extreme pornography and encouraging sex with an animal.
And on Thursday 12th January 2023 he was back before the crown court where he was jailed for 18 years and ordered to serve a further eight years on extended licence.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Howard of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit: “Mallen is an abhorrent individual who posed a serious threat to children. I’m pleased that the action taken by YH ROCU officers in identifying him, and working with colleagues in Northumbria on the investigation, has brought an end to his offending and put him behind bars.”
“This was the early stages of the formation of a paedophile ring and I have no doubt whatsoever that had we not investigated the matter, Mallen would have committed further serious offences.”
“Our dedicated team of ROCU officers work tirelessly to identity people who pose a sexual threat to children. We work with partners and other police forces, to end their threat to society by bringing them to justice wherever they are.”
Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Helen Mackay, from Northumbria Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), said: “This has been an absolutely shocking case and one of the most horrific I have come across in our Force. I am pleased the jury saw through the lies and excuses of Simon Mallen.
“He showed a complete lack of remorse for his actions. He is a calculating and manipulative predator who knew what he was doing was wrong and worked hard to operate under the radar and keep his illegal activity a secret.”
During the course of the investigation into Mallen, three women were also arrested and subsequently charged and have been brought to justice.
They were sentenced as follows:
Caroline Scurr, 44, of Cullercoats, Tyne and Wear, denied arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and stood trial alongside Mallen. She was found guilty and sentenced on Friday, May 20, 2022 to seven-and-a-half-years.
Maria Alfonzo, 33, of Devon, pleaded guilty to arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence when she appeared at court on November 30, 2021, and previously admitted distributing and taking indecent images of children and having sex with an animal. She was sentenced alongside Scurr and jailed for a total of two years and three months.
Lauren Marshall, 37, of Ashington, Northumberland, previously admitted to arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence – a charge which predates Mallen’s main abuse plot. On June 1, 2022, she was jailed for three years and two months and given an indefinite Sexual harm Prevention Order.