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24 Hours in Police Custody: Witness recalls hearing his friend being raped by Luton paedophile

A witness heartbreakingly recalled hearing his friend being raped by Luton paedophile Carson Grimes who lured children into his ‘house of horrors’ on 24 Hours in Police Custody.

Tonight’s episode of the Channel 4 show, which airs at 9pm, is the first in a two-part episode about the  case of Carson Grimes, 65, who plied vulnerable young children, particularly boys, with alcohol and drugs, before raping and sexually assaulting them.  

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, his reign of terror on Luton’s children lasted 20 years – and is known as the largest of its kind in Bedfordshire Police’s history.

And on Wednesday, the monster will finally be sentenced to 11 counts of rape; 8 counts of buggery, an offence which was re-classified as rape in 1994; 11 counts of indecent assault, and; 6 counts of indecency with a child. 

‘It would’ve been about 1995,’ explains witness Leon, speaking of his friend Michael, who has since committed suicide. ‘I just stole my first car that night and we went round there to the horror house. Everything about that house – it was just always dark. It was seedy.’ 

Tonight’s episode of Channel 4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody is the first in a two-part episode about the case of Carson Grimes (pictured), 65, who targeted vulnerable young children, particularly boys, and plied them with alcohol and drugs, before raping and sexually assaulting them

Witness Leon heartbreakingly recalled hearing his friend being raped by Luton paedophile Carson Grimes who lured children into his 'house of horrors' on 24 Hours in Police Custody.

Witness Leon heartbreakingly recalled hearing his friend being raped by Luton paedophile Carson Grimes who lured children into his ‘house of horrors’ on 24 Hours in Police Custody.

‘Your brother…I could remember the conversation. I could hear him crying and I remember Carson soothing him and saying, “it’s ok.” 

‘At first, I knew I heard it, but I put it to the back of my mind because I think I was just grateful it wasn’t me. I heard him rape him. And I was scared. I couldn’t move. I just couldn’t move.’

‘The next day we got up and was walking back and Michael is limping, I said to him “what’s wrong with you?” He said, “I’ve got a blister on my foot. He didn’t want to say anything. And I never said anything.”‘ 

He later adds: ‘I care about everybody that it’s happened to but obviously Michael I care care about the most. He was my friend – because of what I witnessed. I didn’t do enough.’

Grimes, who also went by the name Carson Phillips and was previously arrested eight times for sexual offences but had never been convicted, sexually abused children aged between 5 and 15 years old from 1982 to 2002. 

Almost all of them were living in care or were in and out of juvenile detention and as such, if any reported Grimes they were not believed. He also threatened the victims and their families with violence if they ever spoke out against him.  

Grimes' (pictured) reign of terror on Luton's children lasted 20 years according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - and is known as the largest of its kind in Bedfordshire Police's history

Grimes’ (pictured) reign of terror on Luton’s children lasted 20 years according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – and is known as the largest of its kind in Bedfordshire Police’s history

DC Rachael Foy and PC Gemma Bear put the allegations to Carson Grimes in a police interview (pictured)

DC Rachael Foy and PC Gemma Bear put the allegations to Carson Grimes in a police interview (pictured)

Police records show Carson Grimes has been arrested 8 times previously (pictured)

Police records show Carson Grimes has been arrested 8 times previously (pictured)

Grimes lured the children to his house in Luton, dubbed by one as ‘the horror house’, fuelling addictions that would stay with many of the victims for the rest of their lives.

The episode follows DS Foy working in the Child Sexual Exploitation unit, who first hears the testimony of a victim in 2017 and quickly discovers the victim is not alone and that many have suffered at the hands of her suspect.

The now 30-year-old prisoner, who first met Grimes when he was 11, speaks about how he went to jail at the age of 15 and for the first time in years felt safe because he was away from Grimes. 

‘He made allegations to a prison liaison officer that when he was a young lad he was assaulted by an older bloke,’ explains DS Foy. ‘I think he’s been dealing with it for a long time and probably emotionally he hasn’t received any help for it.’

‘It could be that something has happened to make him remember it in prison or that he feels now is the right time to speak about it.’  

When asked how he’s feeling today, the victim says: ‘Nervous and anxious.’      

On Wednesday, the monster (pictured) will finally be sentenced to 11 counts of rape; 8 counts of buggery, an offence which was re-classified as rape in 1994; 11 counts of indecent assault, and; 6 counts of indecency with a child

On Wednesday, the monster (pictured) will finally be sentenced to 11 counts of rape; 8 counts of buggery, an offence which was re-classified as rape in 1994; 11 counts of indecent assault, and; 6 counts of indecency with a child

‘I was 11 when I first met him – went to high school,’ says the victim. ‘I didn’t like it there so I kind of bunked off all the time and on the opposite side of the road from where I lived was Carson’s house. He was out fixing a red BMW….that first day, I’ll never forget that. That was the day it all started really – for him anyway…

‘He was finding out what family I had, who would knock on his door looking for me. Obviously where he see there weren’t really no one, that’s when he got a gage on things and knew he could try things.

‘At the start he’d let us smoke weed and that and now, looking back at it he was giving us that for a reason…first time I did crack or heroine was at Carsons. Then he started putting the drugs in the drink. He’d just get in my head that what he was doing wasn’t wrong.’

He continues: ‘It happened loads – at least twice a week. When I was 13 or 14 I kind of knew it weren’t right so I started pushing him and he put a gun in my mouth and threatened to pull it if I told anyone. I was scared.

‘When I went to jail when I was 15 that was kind of my safe place. He couldn’t get to me no more – I think that’s why I kept feeling safe when I went back here. It didn’t bother me or teach me a lesson or anything.’ 

During the programme, an undeterred DS Foy is seen digging in files when she discovers Grimes had been acquitted in a 2008 case after forensic evidence pointed to the assault but he claimed it was consensual. 

DS Foy explains how it is only through bringing all of the victims together and showing the patterns of abuse that she will able to secure a conviction against Carson Grimes

DS Foy explains how it is only through bringing all of the victims together and showing the patterns of abuse that she will able to secure a conviction against Carson Grimes

As she embarks on a three year journey it becomes the biggest and hardest case of her career.

‘This case has been the hardest case that I’ve dealt with since I’ve become a police officer,’ she explains. ‘I have heard things in this case that I will never unhear. All of these people were saying the same things have happened to them, the same way in the same house in Luton.’  

Cameras follow every twist and turn as she realises how hard it will be to get justice. It isn’t enough to persuade the victims to speak up, she needs to make sure that their evidence is compelling enough to persuade a jury – and there’s 10 victims who are willing to give new evidence. 

She explains that as the victims are ‘unconventional’ – given their criminal and social backgrounds – their testimonies are likely to be regarded in court as unreliable. 

DS Foy goes on to say how it is only through bringing them all together and showing the patterns of abuse that she will able to secure a conviction. 

But when the detective comes face to face with the accused when he is brought in for a voluntary interview, she has no choice but to let him leave the police station once again on bail. 

With the suspect free again the detectives are left anxious about how hard it will be to secure a successful conviction against him.  

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