Sex case trio jailed
Paedophile ringleader Michael Smith-Cox has been jailed for life for violently sexually abusing two young children.
Smith-Cox, 65, continues to deny the shocking and horrific catalogue of abuse he subjected the children to when living in Lucas Close, Irthlingborough, in the mid-1990s with his co-defendants.
A jury at Northampton Crown Court convicted father-of-12 Smith-Cox in July. Kenneth Mortimer, 68, of Guillemot Lane, Wellingborough, was convicted of two indecent assaults against the boy and was sent to prison for four years.
Judge Charles Wide, QC, told the defendants, who still deny their crimes, they were responsible for causing 'incalculable damage' by their violent and sexual abuse.
The children, whose identities are protected, were also forced to perform sex acts on each other as well as being made available to others from a paedophile ring to abuse.
Smith-Cox, now of Newlyn in Cornwall, shook his head as he was told by Judge Wide he would not be eligible for parole for 14 years should he ever be released from prison.
His then wife Susan Smith-Cox, 38, also of Guillemot Lane, Wellingborough, was found guilty during the two-week trial of four children protection offences and was jailed for five years.
The judge told Michael Smith Cox: "It is hard to imagine a more serious case than this one.
"It involved repeated and persistent sexual abuse of two very young children. She was only aged four years or younger, the boy was only five or younger. It is a seriously aggravating feature of this case that you made these children available for serious sexual abuse by others and that you made them perform sex acts upon each other for your sexual gratification."
Michael Smith-Cox was handed the maximum sentence of ten years for three indecent assaults, including one involving a handgun, which the judge said was 'the most serious one could possibly imagine'.
He had been jailed in 2000 for similar crimes but released from prison upon appeal because he suffers osteoporosis which was making life behind bars difficult for him.
He denied all charges but was convicted of rape, gross indecency, five indecent assaults, inciting an act of gross indecency, aiding and abetting a rape, aiding and abetting two indecent assaults, inciting indecent assault and cruelty.
Robert Anthony, defending Michael Smith-Cox, said: "He maintains his innocence, despite the jury's findings and his previous convictions.
"He says he is not a sex offender and would not dream of it.
"He asks the court to take a merciful approach given his age."
Det Con Andy Stephenson, of Northamptonshire Police, said: "I am extremely pleased with the sentences marking the seriousness of what they did to the children who had to come to court and give evidence.
"Hopefully this will be the start of putting their ordeals behind them."