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Last Updated: Monday, 7 February, 2005, 09:38 GMT
TV claims prompt paedophile probe
William Goad
Some of Goad's victims were as young as eight years old
Police are to investigate alleged abuse by two paedophiles linked to jailed Plymouth man William Goad after claims in a BBC documentary.

Goad, 60, was jailed for life last October after sexually abusing young boys over a 40-year period.

Ray Zola, one of Goad's victims, told Panorama he had told police about another abuser, but they said they did not have resources to follow it up.

Devon and Cornwall Police said they could now follow up Mr Zola's claims.

Standards for investigation journalism are very different from the standard required for a prosecution
Michelle Slevin, Devon and Cornwall Police

He told the programme: "I was told the investigation had to stop somewhere.

"How can you draw a line against child abuse? You have to protect them and the only way you are going to protect them is by proper investigations."

Panorama claimed that it had tracked down one of the alleged abusers to France.

Det Ch Insp Michelle Slevin, senior investigating officer in the Goad case, said on Monday: "Standards for investigation journalism are very different from the standard required for a prosecution.

"The way journalists were able to find information was not available to us.

"Now that the information has come forward the investigation can progress further and when all the evidence is obtained we can put it to the Crown Prosecution Service and take it before the courts if there is enough evidence."

Victims 'unwilling'

She added: "Our difficulty has been that in the past we have been unable to secure evidence from victims.

"This is a very difficult type of investigation and very often the victims are unwilling or unable to come forward and give us the evidence we need."

Devon and Cornwall Police added in a statement: "We are aware that allegations have been made against two further suspects.

"At the time, neither suspect could be found based on the information then available.

"One has now been traced, and enquires continue to find the other.

"At the conclusion of those investigations a file will be prepared for consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service as to whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute offenders."

Panorama also said Devon and Cornwall Police "not only did a good job on Mr Goad in the end, but that they are willing to tackle openly the questions and criticisms put to them".

A one-man crime wave?
04 Feb 05 |  Panorama


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