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Hot dog paedophile trio jailed after luring teenage girls into modelling shoot scam

Posted on - 14th April, 2016 - 8:54pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Avenham, Crime, News, Preston City Centre
James Ruehle, Kert Birtwistle and Michael McDougall

James Ruehle, Kert Birtwistle and Michael McDougall

Three men who worked in a hot dog takeaway in Preston city centre have been jailed for sex offences against teenage girls.

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James Ruehle, Michael McDougall and Kert Birtwistle all pleaded guilty to luring three girls, aged between 14 and 15, to a hotel where they were sexually abused.

The men, who worked at JR’s Chicago Hot Dogs in Fishergate, managed by 68-year-old Ruhle, came into contact with the girls while serving them food.

They promised the girls the potential of modelling work, and gave them alcohol and cannabis at a hotel, before sexually abusing them in August 2014.

Ruehle, 68, of Whinfield Lane, Ashton-on-Ribble, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court to ten years and four months in prison for three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of attempted sexual activity with a child.

He also pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl at the takeaway in September 2014.

McDougall, 31, of Ashworth Street, Avenham, was jailed for nine years on three counts of sexual activity with a child.

Birtwistle, 20, of Arundel Place, Avenham, was sentenced to four and a half years in a young offenders’ institute after pleading guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child.

All three defendants also pleaded guilty to make indecent images of children.

DC Ian Marsh from Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit said: “These men took advantage of the vulnerable child victims, who were taken to a hotel under false pretences. They were given drugs and alcohol and subjected to appalling sexual abuse.

“I am pleased that the offenders have now been jailed for their abhorrent actions and I hope the victims, who have been extremely brave throughout this investigation, are able to move forward with their lives now that these men have been brought to justice.

“We are committed to protecting children and keeping them safe from being abused and exploited and I hope this case gives other victims of sexual offences the confidence to come forward and report it to police, safe in the knowledge that we take all reports of sexual abuse extremely seriously and that victims will be dealt with sensitively and professionally throughout.”

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