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Former BBC presenter, 44, admits 40 sex offences against children

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Benjamin David Thomas

A former BBC presenter turned evangelical preacher, Benjamin David Thomas, has admitted to committing 40 sex offences, a number of them against children, across 30 years.

Benjamin David Thomas from Coed Onn Road in Flint, Wales, appeared at Mold Crown Court on Friday before Judge Niclas Parry.

The ex-BBC presenter admitted ten counts of sexual activity with a child, eight sexual assaults, and four attempts to commit sexual assault.

Thomas, who was once a respected preacher at the Criccieth Family Church in Gwynedd, also pleaded guilty to nine indecent assaults, seven counts of voyeurism and two counts of making indecent videos of children.

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Some of the offences date all the way back to 1990, but the most recent offences happened at the end of last year.

He has been given bail until his next appearance at Mold Crown Court on August 18, when he will be sentenced.

Judge Parry told the 44-year-old that he would be given credit for his early guilty pleas, but warned a ‘significant custodial sentence’ was inevitable.

DC Lynne Willsher of North Wales Police, said:

“Ben Thomas’ offending involved the serious sexual abuse of vulnerable young children by a religious leader.

“It is an awful breach of the trust placed in him by the victims and their families, and I cannot begin to imagine what impact the revelation of his offending has had on them.

“Today in court, Ben Thomas has admitted perpetrating 40 sexual offences.

“As a result of this, his victims have been spared the harrowing ordeal of a lengthy trial.

“North Wales Police are very grateful for the strength and courage shown by all victims and their families; this has greatly assisted our investigation to ensure justice has been done today.

“I am also grateful to the Evangelical Church and their safeguarding team for their assistance during the investigation.

“If there is a message to come from this, it is that anyone who faces abuse should understand that your safety and wellbeing remains North Wales Police’s priority and you can contact us on 101, or online via our live webchat.”

Dailymail.co.uk

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Crime

Photos: Three corpers, 29 others arrested for alleged online scam in Ogbomoso

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] on Tuesday, 11 August 2020 arrested 32 “Yahoo boys” for alleged involvement in internet fraud.

The suspects were apprehended during a raid on their hideout in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.

Officers of the EFCC swept on the location after diligent analysis of a series of intelligence gathered on their alleged criminal activities.

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Three of the suspects claimed to be serving members of the National Youth Service Corps ( NYSC), 19 were undergraduates of various universities across the country, while the remaining 10 laid claim to sundry vocations.

The suspects are Oyebamiji Francis; Aremo Jeremiah; Ogbonnaya Prosper John; Anuoluwapo Matthew; Oladele Victor; Mumuni Waliyullah; Olawoyin Abiodun; Okuwatoyin Henry; Arisekola Shina; Babarinde Solomon; Samson Gideon; Joshua Ola Adebayo; Ajayi Joseph Ajibola; Garba Mojeed, Olatunbosun Tobiloba and Azeez Ridwan.
Others are Ajala Timilehin; Adebolapo Bakare; Alaba Gideon; Ogunkeye Olumide; Ogunleke Tolu; Olapade Emmanuel; Adegoke Aanu Abiodun; Job Ayantoye; Oyebode Pelumi; Babayanju Toluwani; Oladele Ayobami; Omonaiye Abubakar; Sattong Baking; Abisoye Kehinde, Iwajomo Nathan and Aniyikaye Tope.

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At the point of their arrest, 12 exotic cars, several phones, laptops and some incriminating documents were recovered from them.

The suspects were subjected to thorough screening by medical officials of the EFCC, in line with the Covid-19 prevention protocols.

They would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

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Crime

Casual workers docked over alleged N20,000 theft

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Two labourers, Jarvishima Azuua and Wisdom Peter, who allegedly stole N20,000 and four cell phones, were on Tuesday docked at a Lugbe Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja.

Both defendants, who reside at Lugbe Airport Road, Abuja, are facing a three-count charge of joint act, criminal trespass and theft.

The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 79, 348 and 288 of the Penal Code.

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The Prosecutor, Ijeoma Ukagha, told the court that the matter was reported at the Lugbe Police Station, Abuja, on July 24 by the trio of Frank Ezeudeze, Chisom Nwaokike and Chukwuemeka Nwasanyi, all of Gzidu Road, Moon & Star Hotel, Abuja.

Ukagha said that the defendants and one Gadafi, surname unknown and now at large, criminally trespassed into the complainant’s hotel without their consent.

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She said that the defendants stole N20,000 and four cell phones, all valued at N289, 000.

The prosecutor said that during police investigation, the four cell phones, stolen from the hotel, were recovered from the defendants.

The defendants, however, denied committing the offences.

The Judge, Mr Abubakar Sadiq, granted them bail of N10,000 and a surety each in like sum.

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Sadiq said that the sureties must have reasonable means of livelihood and reside within the court’s jurisdiction, which must be verified by the police orderly.

He adjourned the case until Aug. 24 for hearing.

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Crime

DSS arrests man, 42, for impersonating Buhari’s Chief of Staff

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Mohammed Prince Momoh

The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested a 42-year-old man, Mohammed Prince Momoh, for posing as an aide to the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, to defraud one Benson Agiobu of $50, 000.

Momoh attempted to defraud Aniogu, claiming he represented Gambari and needed the said amount to secure an appointment for him as a Special Adviser to the President on Oil and Gas.

Public Relations Officer, DSS National Headquarters, Abuja, Dr Peter Afunanya, who paraded the suspect, an indigene of Kogi State, on Tuesday, said their investigations revealed that Momoh and his group never acted on behalf of or for the Chief of Staff.

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Afunanya said the suspect had approached Aniogu, from Bayelsa State, telling him he was a security aide attached to Gambari. Momoh had claimed that $25, 000 would be for the Chief of Staff while the remaining would be for the “boys” who would help secure the appointment.

The DSS Spokesman said Momoh had worked briefly some time ago as an aide to someone in the Presidential Villa and had some knowledge of the workings of the environment.

Momoh and his team had visited Aniogu in his house in Abuja to collect the money.

Afunanya said Aniogu suspected they were fraudulent and alerted authorities leading to a sting operation that was conducted by the Service, where Momoh was nabbed.

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Afunanya said Momoh would face the full weight of the law.

The DSS Spokesman advised that people who use social media should mind the kind of information they drop in their space, as there are always criminal elements harvesting information to use and defraud unsuspecting people.

He called on Nigerians to be cautious and avoid being greedy and desperate so as not to fall victim to fraudsters.

“They should be wary and ask questions when and where they need to. For every suspicion of crime please relate to appropriate security agencies and pass information timely to them so they needful can be done,” he said.

He said Nigerians should be aware such syndicates exist, adding that the Service would continue to disrupt their activities and continue to do all that is needful within the law to ensure that no law-abiding citizen is taken advantage of by criminal elements.

“We reassure Nigerians that the DSS as a responsible, foremost, domestic intelligence agency in Nigeria would continue to perform its duties without any fear or favour,” he said.

Momoh, who said he is married with two children, admitted to the crime.

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He said he worked in the Villa between 2013 and 2014.

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