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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / The sinister story of Barry rapists Peter and Avril Griffiths

The sinister story of Barry rapists Peter and Avril Griffiths

The pair were compared to 'Fred and Rose West'Image copyright
Wales News Service

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The pair would work together to rape and sexually abuse young girls

They were so notorious that they were dubbed “the Fred and Rose West” of their housing estate.

Now child raping married couple Peter and Avril Griffiths are finally facing justice after being exposed as partners in the horrific sexual abuse of three vulnerable girls.

For three weeks, their victims sat in Cardiff Crown Court painstakingly hearing their harrowing tales of rape, grooming and abuse being retold to jury.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Peter Griffiths used his wife – claimed to have a low IQ – as “bait” to help him ensnare young girls.

And it seemed no place was off-limits for the twisted couple.

One rape took place in the back of a van. Another on a boat where so-called “sex parties” were held with police officers said to be on board.

At one stage, Avril even held down a young girl, telling her it wouldn’t “hurt” as her husband raped the child.

Paedophile Peter Griffiths was described in court as a “sinister sexual abuser” and Avril as his “true partner in crime”.

“This was a partnership in sexual exploitation, and each with [their] own part to play,” prosecutor Caroline Rees QC said during the trial.

After decades of depravity, the pair have finally been brought to justice.

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Avril and Peter Griffiths met when they were teenagers

This was a cruel and sadistic story, beginning back in the 1960s when the Griffiths’ first met.

Then, Avril was aged just 13 or 14, and Peter four years older.

By the age of 15 she was pregnant by him, and subsequently taken into care.

Despite being warned to stay away from him, they married when she was 18, setting up home in the seaside town of Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

The court heard that they were a “sexually-driven” couple, indulging in swinging, dogging, sexual photographs and homemade pornographic films.

By the time they were in their twenties, they had begun “working as a team” to target the three “young, vulnerable” teenagers.

‘A-Team-style van’

More than once, the court heard how Avril Griffiths befriended their chosen victims, grooming them with alcohol and cigarettes.

One victim was given vodka before being forced to pose for indecent photos.

She was raped in the couple’s black A-Team style van and made to participate in “dogging” sessions.

She was also raped on Griffiths’ boat, which he moored in the Bristol Channel and used for fishing trips, after being forced to drink a pint of vodka.

Sex parties, too, were held on the boat, where Avril Griffiths was said to have dressed as a “kissogram”, wearing long boots and suspenders underneath a coat.

These parties, the court heard, were attended by police officers, who were said to be present when at least one rape took place.

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The three-week trial was held at Cardiff Crown Court

One victim described the officers as “friends” of Peter Griffiths, who himself told the victims he worked as a “special constable”.

The victim told the court how the men would often “brag” about their jobs, using them as leverage over her and saying “no one” would believe her if she complained.

Often these events were organised through the South Wales Police social club.

The other victims too faced similarly harrowing ordeals.

One – aged 13 at the time – was raped by the couple while Avril Griffiths held her down, telling her: “Don’t worry, it’s not going to hurt.”

The victim told the court that the couple were well-known in Barry and had earned a nickname based on another evil couple, serial killers Fred and Rose West.

She added: “I think if you ask most families in Barry, they’d hate them”.

The court heard the couple had bought the girl cigarettes and alcohol and Avril Griffiths had dressed her in mini-skirts and heels to “make her look like her”.

Throughout the trial, Peter Griffiths denied the claims, saying the victims were driven by a compensation culture.

But he was found guilty of eight counts of rape, two counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child and three counts of indecent assault.

Avril Griffiths was found guilty of five counts of rape, two counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child and two counts of indecent assault.

Peter Griffiths, 65, was sentenced to 21 years and Avril Griffiths, 61, was sentenced to 15 years.

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