Cambodia jails Briton for 12 years for child sex

8th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Cambodian court on Thursday sentenced a middle-aged British man to 12 years in prison for paying for sex with three underage girls, one as young as nine.

Five Cambodians, including the mothers of two of the victims and a guesthouse owner, also received varying sentences for acting as accomplices in the purchase of child prostitution.

Michael Julian Leach, 51, was arrested in September 2010 after police followed him to the guesthouse on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court said Leach, a tourist from London, would be deported after serving his jail term.

The court also ordered that two of the girls, who were nine and 13 at the time, should receive 12 million riel ($2,900) each in compensation.

Leach was first arrested in Cambodia in 2005 on separate child sex allegations but he walked free because of a lack of evidence.

Cambodia launched an anti-paedophilia push in 2003 to try to shake off its reputation as a sex predators' haven. Dozens of foreigners have since been jailed for child sex crimes or deported to face trial in their home countries.

© 2011 AFP

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