Southampton man drugged children before sexually assaulting them

Daily Echo: Police outside the Wilton Avenue flats where Darren Mackrell drugged and raped three children. Picture by Lorraine Barter. Police outside the Wilton Avenue flats where Darren Mackrell drugged and raped three children. Picture by Lorraine Barter.

A HAMPSHIRE man pleaded guilty today to raping three young children he had drugged and who were also forced to sexually abuse each other while he watched.

Darren Mackrell, 45, subjected the two boys and a girl, all aged under 10, to a six-hour ordeal at his flat in Wilton Avenue, Southampton .

He was warned by a judge that he will spend a long time in prison and one parent shouted from the public gallery that he should hang.

The three children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went to his home after Mackrell got to know them at a nearby playground.

Mackrell admitted 18 charges of raping the three youngsters, sexually assaulting them, causing them to engage in sexual activity, forcing them to watch a sexual act and administering drugs.

Unemployed Mackrell gave the children cannabis, amphetamine and viagra to stupefy them when he abused them on April 21 this year.

One of the children's mothers became concerned where her child was and went to the park, and found out they were at Mackrell's.

She got no reply at the address and called the police. An officer looked through the letterbox, saw a pornographic video playing on the television and broke the door down.

The three children were in the property and Mackrell was arrested.

He pleaded guilty to all the charges on the eve of his trial at Southampton Crown Court .

Judge Gary Burrell QC told the drug addict he was ordering a pre-sentence report to find out how dangerous he was to children.

''You pleaded guilty today to the rape of three children aged, 10, nine and eight. You forced these children to engage in sexual activity between themselves - a truly abhorrent thing to do,'' he told the court.

''You administered drugs to them, including cannabis, amphetamines and Viagra with the intention of stupefying them.

''As night follows day, you will be sentenced to a very lengthy sentence in any event. If you satisfy the criteria of dangerousness or imprisonment for public protection, you could be subject to a life sentence.''

Judge Burrell adjourned the case for sentencing at Winchester Crown Court on September 21.

As Mackrell was taken down, one tearful mother of a victim shouted: ''It's not over until I say it's over.'' Another mother shouted: ''He should hang.''

Judge Burrell told them: ''The court understands the situation you are in and your outburst is perfectly understandable.''

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