April 2016

Preston takeaway staff jailed for sex abuse of underage girls

Three men who worked at a takeaway have been jailed for up to 10 years sexually exploiting teenage girls.

The owner and two employees of JR’s Chicago Hot Dogs in Preston were jailed at the city’s crown court after pleading guilty at a previous hearing.

They were jailed for sexual offences against five girls aged under 16 between August and September 2014.

The girls were lured to a hotel with the promise of modelling work, given alcohol and cannabis, then abused.

The owner of the takeaway, James Ruehle, 67, was sentenced to 10 years and four months in jail after pleading guilty to four counts of sexual activity with a child under 16.

Employee Michael McDougal, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child under 16 and was jailed for nine years.

Fellow employee Kert Birtwistle, 20, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to sexual activity with a child under 16.

All three defendants also pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children.