September 2023

Ex-Paper Lace guitarist and roadie jailed for sex abuse

John Chambers (left) and Andrew Polkey (right)

A former guitarist for the band Paper Lace, who used his minor celebrity status to groom and assault a boy, has been jailed.

Police said John Chambers, 73, befriended the vulnerable boy more than 30 years ago following success in the UK and US music chart.

He then took it in turns to abuse him with Andrew Polkey, 57, a roadie with the Nottingham-based band.

Both men were jailed at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday.

Nottinghamshire Police said Chambers and Polkey exploited the young victim for their own sexual gratification.

They would give him drugs and alcohol after inviting him to their homes.

It was during the course of that investigation that two further victims were identified who had each been abused by Polkey.

He and Chambers were both arrested in 2020 and originally denied the offences but later pleaded guilty to multiple counts of abuse.

Chambers, of Crowley Close, Nottingham, was jailed for 10 years and six months for six counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecent assault on a person under 16.

Polkey, of Glade Hill Road, Nottingham, was jailed for 13 years for 17 counts of assault.

A third man, Matthew Mardell, also pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault.

The 46-year-old, who is also from Glade Hill Road, Nottingham, was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years.

Nottinghamshire Police first started to looking into the allegations in 2017 when the victim, who is now an adult, came forward to report what had happened to him.

He later decided not to continue with his complaint but changed his mind two years later.

Det Sgt Lee Kirk, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “His evidence was utterly compelling and forensic in detail in places, including details of Chambers’ home and of vehicles linked to his former band.

“In it he painted a picture of a predatory and manipulative child abuser who very deliberately groomed and exploited a secondary-school-age boy.”

Polkey, a known associate of Chambers, was also identified as an abuser by the victim and a second man.

September 2023

Former chart-topping musician jailed for sexually abusing 12-year-old

Paper Lace’s former bassist John Chambers has been jailed after admitting to indecent assault on victims as young as 12.

The British pop band rose to prominence in the 70s with three number one hits, although Chambers joined the band later in 1983.

The 72-year-old plead guilty to eight charges of indecent assault using alcohol and Chinese takeaways to groom underage boys.

He reportedly had a ‘motto’, telling the young victims: ‘This is good, clean fun.’

Nottingham Crown Court heard how one child ‘lay like a brick’ enduring the assault.

Chambers has been jailed for 10 and a half years for the abuse, along with roadie and boyfriend Andrew Polkey, 56, who aided him.

‘I couldn’t escape my thoughts and my own mind,’ shared one boy in a heartbreaking victim statement.

The boys would be plied with treats they were not permitted at home, ‘starstruck’ by the former bassist.

Chambers took the victim to Polkey’s home, giving him weed before assaulting him and forcing him into sexual acts.

Polkey also abused a second victim, who said he felt ‘voiceless’ and unable to speak after the ordeal.

Back in 2005, the disgraced musician was convicted of possessing indecent images of children.

A sexual harm prevention order has been put in place and he will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Polkey was jailed for 13 years after admitting to 17 charges of indecent assaults.

A third man, Matthew Mardell, 46, also pleaded guilty to two indecent assaults on one of the same boys as Polkey and was given a suspended sentence.

August 2023

Ex-Paper Lace bass player John Chambers to be sentenced over sex attacks

Shamed former Paper Lace guitarist John Chambers will be sentenced next week after he pleaded guilty to a string of serious sexual offences on a boy.

The 73-year-old faces a lengthy custodial sentence after admitting his guilt at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday, March 8.

Two more paedophiles appeared alongside him in the dock; former Paper Lace roadie Andrew Polkey, 46, previously of Glade Hill Road, Arnold, admitted 17 charges of indecent assault on three boys and now faces jail, and Matthew Mardell, also 46, and from Glade Hill Road, pleaded guilty to two indecent assaults on a boy.

The three will be sentenced on August 15.

Chambers, who played with the Nottingham chart toppers in the mid-80s, wore a variety of outfits as he arrived for legal talks before a planned trial – including a suit and hunter’s hat and dark sunglasses, then a more sobering grey jacket. He spoke clearly as he entered his pleas to eight charges of indecent assault, all historic, on the same boy.

Bass guitarist Chambers, of Crowley Close, Bilborough, joined Paper Lace in 1983, almost a decade after the original members of the band had a UK number one with Billy Don’t Be a Hero. In the same year, 1974, the band topped the US charts with The Night Chicago Died.