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NCA appeals for victims of ‘prolific’ child sex offender

A former teacher who admitted raping and sexually abusing children aged between 10 and 15 has been given 13 life sentences with a minimum term of 16 years.

Mark Frost, previously known as Andrew Tracey, pleaded guilty to 45 offences including rape, sexual assault and inciting sexual activity with a child under 13.

Sentencing him yesterday at the Old Bailey, Judge Mark Lucraft QC said: "It is clear you have an obsession with sexually abusing young boys with evidence of planning and grooming."

He added Frost's offending was "truly shocking" and that he was someone who will continue to pose a risk to children.

Kelly Alleyne, Child Protection Manager at the National Crime Agency said:

“We know how difficult it can be for victims of non-recent sexual abuse to come forward or seek support. Since the guilty pleas entered by Mark Frost, we have had a number of referrals from individuals with information about him and enquiries are on-going.

“However, we believe there could be many more victims of Frost who have never come forward or spoken to anybody about what happened to them. I would like to encourage anyone who has any information about Mark Frost/ Andrew Tracey to contact the dedicated NSPCC telephone number that has been set up – 0800 328 0904.

“Trained staff, skilled in talking to and responding to victims of non-recent sexual abuse are available to offer support and act as a pathway for safeguarding services. Alternatively, local police forces have been briefed and are able to talk to anyone who has information about Frost/ Tracey via 101”.

1 February 2017

An appeal for people who may have been sexually abused by a former teacher has been launched across the British Isles by the National Crime Agency.

Mark Frost - formerly known as Andrew John Tracey - aged 70, admitted sexually abusing children over a period of at least 25 years, at the Old Bailey.

He pleaded guilty to 45 offences including rape, sexual assault, inciting sexual activity with a child under 13 and making indecent images of children. 

His victims were all male, aged between 10 and 15, and from the UK and Thailand.

Frost was employed as a teacher in England from the 1970s until the 1990s and was also involved with the Scouts until 1991. The NCA believes there are potentially more victims in the British Isles who may never have come forward before. 

Andy Brennan, Deputy Director of the NCA’s CEOP Command said:

“This has been a lengthy and complex investigation into a prolific child sex offender,who over many years believed he could sexually abuse children and evade law enforcement. The weight of evidence gathered by the investigating officers in this case was such that Frost pleaded guilty to over 40 charges. Safeguarding work is on-going with victims we know about already, both in the UK and in Thailand and we will continue to ensure victims receive the appropriate support as required.

“However, we suspect there could be many more victims of Frost, both male and female, who have never come forward or spoken to anybody about what happened to them.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who may have been subject to abuse by Frost to contact the dedicated NSPCC helpline that has been set up – 0800 328 0904. This helpline is managed by trained NSPCC staff who are skilled in talking to and responding to victims of non-recent sexual abuse and is a pathway for victims to access support and safeguarding services. They have also been fully briefed on the investigation, enabling them to provide an appropriate response to victims.

“Alternatively, local police forces can be contacted via 101. All forces have been briefed and will be able to talk to anyone who has information about Frost”.

Frost was arrested in 2013 by the Royal Thai Police after a victim made a disclosure of abuse. He was released on bail but later fled the country before he could be prosecuted.

He briefly returned to the UK in 2014, but could not be arrested as there was no warrant for his arrest and he was not wanted for any outstanding offences in the UK.

In 2015, the Dutch National Police contacted the NCA about an individual linked to a Dutch subject they were investigating on suspicion of child sexual abuse offences. They shared information with the NCA and this individual was positively identified as Mark Frost.

Work continued to track Frost and in November 2015, NCA officers identified that he was living in Alicante, Spain. With evidence from the Dutch investigation, the NCA obtained a European Arrest Warrant and Frost was arrested by the Spanish National Police on 17 March 2016.

Frost was extradited to the UK in April 2016 using Section 72 legislation, which allows UK nationals to be prosecuted in the UK for offences committed overseas. He was charged with 22 offences including contact sexual abuse of boys aged between 10-14 in Thailand.

On 1 July, he pleaded guilty to 17 offences and admitted the remaining five on 1 September 2016. Later that month, an NCA operational team - comprising of specialist CEOP officers, child protection advisors and a CPS prosecutor – travelled to Thailand to assist the Royal Thai Police with obtaining further evidence.

As a result of this deployment and further enquiries with international and national law enforcement colleagues, permission was sought, and granted, from the authorities in Spain to charge Frost with an additional 67 charges - including the rape and sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, indecent assault and indecency with a child.

Ruona Iguyovwe, Senior Specialist Prosecutor in the CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division, said:

“The harrowing evidence presented by the prosecution in this case outlined the suffering that Mark Frost caused to his victims. Over many years, Frost repeatedly exploited vulnerable young victims, both in the UK and in Thailand, for his own sexual gratification. His offending caused severe psychological harm to all of the children he abused many of whom are now old enough to realise the enormity of what happened to them.

“The CPS worked with investigators from a very early stage in order to build a strong case to secure these convictions, including travelling to Thailand to offer on-the-spot advice as victims were interviewed for the first time.

“International borders are not a barrier to justice and this prosecution was made possible through detailed partnership working between the CPS, the National Crime Agency and prosecutors in both Europe and Thailand.”

The NCA continues to work in partnership with colleagues from local forces and local safeguarding agencies to ensure that there is a joined up response for any victims who may wish to come forward.

We urge the media to be sensitive to how this appeal may impact on victims of non-recent abuse and to provide them with the opportunity to approach support services in their own time and to remain anonymous, if they wish to do so.

The NSPCC Helpline number is 0800 328 0904.

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