Paid £3,000 for Child Sex

Leach, 50, who worked closely with Ministers at the Department of Trade and Industry, sits in handcuffs at the end of a double bed while a detective reassures two of the alleged victims, girls aged 10 and 12. The third girl is 15.

Londoner Leach who once attended a Commonwealth Summit with Labour Minister for Energy Stephen Timms was seized last Sunday at a guesthouse about 15 miles outside the capital Phnom Penh.

He is alleged to have paid the mother of one of the children £3,000 for a week-long sex contract. Leach appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday where he was charged along with the 40-year-old mother of one of the children.

A 46-year-old taxi driver who allegedly helped arrange for Leach to have sex with the girls was also arrested, along with the 45-year-old guesthouse owner.

The People has learned that Leach represented Britain at trade fares across the globe and worked as a senior adviser at the Department of Trade specialising in international telecommunications {until 2005.

That year he was arrested in Phnom Penh and held in custody for 10 hours on suspicion of sexually abusing five youngsters at a run-down orphanage called the Lighthouse. He was released without charge. He returned to Britain in 2006 and joined the communications watchdog OFCOM.

He was OFCOM’s representative at a major European conference that year.

His latest arrest follows an investigation lasting several days by Cambodia’s juvenile protection unit.

Cops believe he handed over thousands of dollars for a week-long sex contract.

He was followed out of a bar in the town and allegedly seen by undercover investigators buying children’s underpants and sweets before going back to the guesthouse where he was arrested.

Leach had allegedly been staying in the room with the two youngest girls for six days.

Major Keo Thea, director of the municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit, told The People: Leach is under primary charges of purchasing child prostitution, while the other three face primary charges of being accomplices to the purchase of child prostitution.

Cambodia-based child {protection group Action Pour Les Enfants want Cambodian authorities to send Leach back to Britain to face trial for his alleged offences.

Under Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, a person can be prosecuted in the UK for child sex offences committed overseas.

But Britain does not have an extradition treaty with Cambodia.

Christine Beddoe, director of child protection agency ECPAT UK, said: We would like to see the police and CPS working with their Cambodian counterparts to identify what legal measures could be used to bring Leach back to the UK and tried in a British court if that is what the Cambodian’s want.

Nearly 40 Westerners have been arrested in Cambodia in the last year for alleged child sex offences.


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