Child sex-gang victim: ‘Having a baby has given me hope’

Lara McDonell was one of the children abused by the sadistic Oxford child sex ring, jailed in 2013. She tells Closer how having a baby has helped her move on from her ordeal

oxford gang

by Francine Anker |
Published on

The depraved Oxford child sex ring was one of the most disturbing cases of child exploitation ever seen in the UK.

A seven-strong gang of Asian men preyed on vulnerable young girls aged from 11 to 17, plying them with drugs before selling them for sex.

Shockingly, they operated for eight years without intervention and police have since apologized, admitting they made “many errors” in the case.

In June 2013, six women bravely gave evidence against the gang of twisted men and they were jailed for a total of 95 years.

Lara McDonnell*, 22, was one of the girls who courageously gave evidence in court.

She suffered horrific abuse for five years, but has gone on to have a baby girl, Olivia*, now nine months old, and says motherhood has given her the strength to move on from the ordeal.

Stock image

Laura – who’s having counselling - tells Closer: “I was just 12 when I was targeted by one of the gang members. I went through hell. He gave me drugs and then forced me to have sex with other men. It was horrific.

“After the gang were jailed I found it difficult to cope. Then six months later I discovered I was pregnant.

"I already have a son Noah*, six, but I wasn’t very involved with his upbringing as I was still under the control of the gang, though Noah's dad wasn't involved with it.

“With Olivia I’ve had a chance to be a proper mum from the beginning. She brings so much joy to my life and she’s allowed me to start a new chapter.

"I’m finally putting the hell I went through behind me.”

Read the full interview in Closer magazine, on sale today

Girl For Sale by Lara McDonnell is out now from Ebury Press

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us