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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
'Evil' abuse social worker jailed
Philip Roe
Roe took advantage of his position to abuse boys
A social worker who sexually abused at least three boys in his care and used two teenagers as prostitutes has been jailed for 12-and-a-half years.

Philip Roe, 59, "seriously and systematically abused" his victims, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Roe was arrested during Operation Cleopatra - a massive investigation into sex abuse of children in care in Greater Manchester.

Roe, now of Hornchurch, Essex, was convicted of 15 offences.

His offences included touching victims who were in care and aged between five and 16.

The incidents took place in his car or when he visited those who had been placed in homes.

Roe was also accused of taking a photograph of a 13-year-old he met in a public toilet, which later turned up in a gay contact magazine.

The boy was abused repeatedly at Roe's home, and sometimes there were other men present, the court heard.

You used your position to gratify your own sexual desires and were and will remain a significant danger to young boys
Judge Michael Henshaw
The boy said Roe introduced him to the other men who touched him indecently and paid him for sex.

Jailing Roe, Judge Michael Henshaw said: "You used your position to gratify your own sexual desires and were and will remain a significant danger to young boys.

"You masqueraded as a caring professional (but)... there was a gross betrayal of trust."

Payment for sex

Some of the charges were specimen offences, covering a period between 1982 and 1988 when Roe worked in Manchester care homes.

Prosecutor Maurice Greene said Roe, who denied all charges, had preyed on vulnerable children in his care.

They were too young to object and did not know what was happening, Mr Greene said.

Other victims included a 13-year-old client Roe would pick up from a special school and take home and abuse.

Roe paid another teenager he picked up near a bus stop between 10 and 15 for sexual services.

'Evil abuser'

Roe was disqualified indefinitely from working or associating with children under 16 and will be on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

Detective Sergeant Shaun Egan, from Greater Manchester Police who worked on the investigation from its start described Roe as evil.

He said: "For the last seven years, we have been working with so many people on a long and often difficult inquiry, as they relived the horrors they were subjected to as children.

"I would like to applaud the courage of everyone who has managed to come forward and played their part in ensuring these prosecutions."

Roe becomes the sixth man to be sentenced as part of Operation Cleopatra.

When caught in Hornchurch he was doing care work through an agency.


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