January 2017

Fugitive sex offender finally caught

A fugitive sex offender who preyed on 15-year-old girls with his girlfriend before fleeing London has been arrested in Ibiza, it has emerged.

Paul Michael Silverthorn, from east London, is behind bars in Madrid and awaiting possible extradition to Britain after he was detained on the Spanish holiday island.

The 36-year-old’s arrest came months after his girlfriend, paedophile Leila Kassam, was also caught in Spain.

Kassam, 32, fled to the same island after admitting child sexual exploitation offences in March.

But she was captured after a local worker recognised her from a Crimewatch appeal over the summer while she was working as a farmhand and she was extradited to Britain in November.

Last night her boyfriend, Silverthorn, was behind bars after going before a judge in an extradition hearing and faces a forced return to the UK and a nine-year jail sentence.

Kassam and Silverthorn are thought to have skipped bail together and fled Britain after admitting their crimes.

They were sentenced to four years and nine years respectively in their absence.

They had lured their young victim back to a central London flat where they sexually assaulted her.

The pair, both from Leytonstone in London, have been described as leading figures in a sex ring exploiting young girls during ‘legal high’ parties at a flat in Haymarket, central London.

Another member of the gang, Daniel Trinnaman of Harrow, was sentenced to two and a half years in jail after being convicted of causing a 15-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity and perverting the course of justice.

Faham Jaffer, 34, who had sex with one girl after Kassam texted her a photo with a message which read, ‘Only got me a cute little 15-year-old’, was sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of sexual activity with a child.

Silverthorn, described by Spanish police as a Canadian national, is said to have given his victim legal high ‘5 NEO’ before stifling her screams with a ball gag and tying her to a bed.

He pleaded guilty to sex with a girl under 16, possessing prohibited images of a child and distributing indecent photographs before going on the run.

He was convicted in his absence of administering a substance with the intent to overpower to allow sexual activity.

A spokesman for Spain’s Guardia Civil, confirming the arrest of Silverthorn who they identified in a press release only by his initials, said: ‘The Civil Guard in Ibiza has arrested a 36-year-old Canadian with the initials P.M.S on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by the authorities in the United Kingdom with the object of making him serve a nine-year prison sentence there for indecently assaulting a child and possessing and distributing child pornography.

‘During the police investigation it was ascertained that the detainee could be in San Joan which was the place where he ended up being arrested by the Guardia Civil.’

A judge in Madrid remanded him in prison after an extradition hearing.

It was not immediately clear today if he had agreed to be sent back to Britain at the behind-closed-doors hearing or not.

DC Rob Dewhurst, from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said after Trinnaman and Jaffer were jailed and the other two gang members went on the run: ‘This is a shocking case of child sexual exploitation.

‘The defendants targeted young vulnerable girls, plying them with alcohol and what were then legal highs in order to facilitate their sexual abuse by a number of people.

‘I commend the young victims for their courage in reporting the offences and giving evidence at trial.’

December 2016

Female sex offender jailed for role in child sex ring

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A female sex offender who fled to Spain after being found guilty of taking part in a child sex ring has been jailed.

Leila Kassam, 32, of Mornington Road, Leytonstone, was jailed at Blackfriars Crown Court today (Monday, December 12) for four years.

She admitted having sex with a 15-year-old girl and arranging a child sex offence in June this year before fleeing the country while on bail.

Kassam and her partner, Paul Silverthorn, 36, also of Mornington Road, had with sex the girl after she was introduced to them by a “fixer” in 2014.

Silverthorn tied the victim to a bed after she was given the legal high “5 NEO” at a party in Coventry House, Haymarket, before Kassam molested her.

The couple also sexually abused a second 15-year-old girl, while Silverthorn took explicit photos of the teenager.

Kassam escaped to Spain before she was sentenced and worked on a farm in Ibiza over the summer months.

The farm owner contacted police after seeing Crimewatch and Crimestoppers appeals online.

A European Arrest Warrant was executed by the Guardia Civil in Spain and Kassam was flown back to the UK on December 9.

Silverthorn is still on the run following his conviction.

He is also wanted for administering a substance to a second 16-year-old victim, possessing prohibited images of a child and distributing indecent photographs of a child.

He was sentenced to nine years behind bars in absence.

Faham Jaffer, 33, of High Street, Colliers Wood, and Daniel Trinnaman, 20, of Ventnor Avenue, Stanmore, were jailed in June for their parts in the plot.

Trinnaman was sentenced for sexual activity with a child and perverting the course of justice by sending threatening Facebook messages while Jaffer was found guilty of having sex with a child.

June 2016

Fugitive couple sentenced in absence for role in child sex ring

Paul Silverthorn

A couple, who are still ON THE RUN after admitting their role in a child sex ring, have been sentenced in their absence to serve a total of 13 years behind bars.

Paul Silverthorn, 35, and Leila Kassam, 31, both of Mornington Road, Leytonstone, were sentenced in absence yesterday at Blackfriars Crown Court.

The pair had pleaded guilty abusing two 15-year-old girls, before they disappeared earlier this year.

Silverthorn was sentenced to nine years in jail, while Kassam will serve four years. Both were added to the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Silverthorn admitted to having sex with a girl under 16, possessing prohibited images of a child and distributing indecent photographs.

Kassam pleaded guilty to having sex with a girl under 16 and arranging the commission of a child sex offence.

Silverthorn was further found guilty of administering a substance with the intent to overpower to allow sexual activity in his absence in relation to the first victim.

The couple had sex with a 15-year-old after she was introduced to them by 20-year-old “fixer” Daniel Trinnaman.

Silverthorn tied the girl to a bed after she was given the legal high ‘5 NEO’ at a party at a flat in Coventry House, Haymarket, before Kassam molested her.

The couple sexually abused a second 15-year-old girl and Silverthorn took explicit photos of the teenager.

The fourth member of the group, Faham Jaffer, 33, of High Street, Colliers Wood, also had sex with the girl after Kassam texted him a photo with a message, which read: “Only got me and a cute little 15-year-old”.

Trinnaman, of Ventnor Avenue, Stanmore, befriended young girls at parties and introduced them to his co-defendants.

In return he was given drugs and was taken on a trip to Amsterdam by Silverthorn and Kassam.

Jabber and Trinnaman were jailed for two and two-and-a-half years respectively earlier this month.

Silverthorn and Kassam’s whereabouts is currently unknown. Police have issued a warrant for their arrest.

June 2016

Four found guilty of ‘shocking’ sexual assault of schoolgirl

Three men and a woman who “targeted young, vulnerable girls” have been found guilty of purposefully befriending a schoolgirl before sexually assaulting her.

The girl, 15, was given legal highs and alcohol before being sexually abused at a London address.

A second victim, 16, was also lured to the address and given substances while there.

Fehum Jaffer, 34, of Wimbledon was jailed for two years for his part in the assault at Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday.

The sex gang purposely befriended vulnerable young girls, before taking them to a central London address and plying them with legal highs and alcohol before forcing them to be sexually abused by several people.

The court was told that they stifled the screams of the girl with a ball gag and tied her to a bed as he abused her

The offences took place between May 2014 and December 2014.

The victims were lured to a central London address by Daniel Trinnaman, 20, of Romford

He was found guilty of his part in the exploitation of the victims was sentenced to two and a half years in prison at yesterday’s trial.

Paul Michael Silverthorn, 35 and his girlfriend Leila Kassam, 31, both of no fixed address, both appeared at Southwark Crown Court on March 10 where they admitted to having sex with the girl.

They both failed to appear in court yesterday and are wanted by police.

In his absence Silverthorn was found guilty of administering a substance to a second 16-year-old victim.

List of offences:

1) Silverthorn pleaded guilty on 10 March to:

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  • Unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 years

  • Possessing prohibited images of a child

  • Distributing indecent photographs / pseudo-photographs of a child

He was found guilty in his absence of:

  • Administering a substance with intent to stupefy / overpower to allow sexual activity

He was found not guilty of:

  • Assault by penetration

Kassam pleaded guilty on 10 March to:

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  • Unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 years

  • Arranging / facilitating the commission of a child sex offence

3) Trinnaman was found guilty of:

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  • Causing/inciting a girl aged 15 to engage in sexual activity

  • Perverting the course of justice

  • He was jailed for two and a half years (no breakdown)

He was found not guilty of:

  • Unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 years

4) Jaffer was found guilty of:

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  • Unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 years: sentenced to two years