Charlotte Rimmer and Harriet Lavin Prosecute Landmark Grooming Case

November 13, 2023

On 31 October 2023, Her Honour Judge Landale sentenced five men to a total of over 70 years’ imprisonment for offences committed against two children from when they were just 14 years old. Convictions were secured after a twelve-week trial earlier this year at Minshull Street Crown Court.

This case was prosecuted by a team of three prosecutors: Neil Usher (now HHJ Usher), Charlotte Rimmer and Harriet Lavin. The team were instructed by Frances Killeen, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Complex Case Unit, Crown Prosecution Service.

Operation Lytton is a police investigation which, back in 2015, began investigating alleged historic sexual offending against Girl A and Girl B from when they were children.

Both survivors were interviewed by the police at length over years, with both describing in detail the abuse they had suffered over the course of more than fifty video interviews.

The offending behaviour included the males taking cruel advantage of the vulnerable girls, providing them with alcohol and drugs to pave the way for sex. Girl A described being treated as a ‘piece of meat’ and being made to feel ‘worthless’ and ‘degraded’ as she was passed around from defendant to defendant. Girl B said the abuse meant that she had to rebuild her life. On a positive note, Girl B also said that she had gained confidence from giving evidence in these proceedings.

The Judge, in passing sentence, noted the lasting and severe impact the offending had on these women whose lives were changed forever. Both were commended for the real courage they had shown throughout.