Sexual assault of 3 boys: Cops struggle to link chats to accused 

According to police, conversations with these 34 numbers had “sexual overtones”, and they are trying to probe if Ward was chatting with minors. One of the chats, police said, is with an alleged victim

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Published: September 20, 2017 1:02:17 am
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The investigation into the sexual assault of three visually impaired boys at a school in south Delhi has set police on the trail of 34 phone numbers, which the accused, 54-year-old British national Murray Dennis Ward, was in touch with. According to police, conversations with these 34 numbers had “sexual overtones”, and they are trying to probe if Ward was chatting with minors. One of the chats, police said, is with an alleged victim.

While police have so far probed 10 of those numbers, five yielded dead-ends as the addresses they were registered under could not be traced. Police did manage to get in touch with the owners of the five other numbers — only to be told that they did not want to file a complaint.

Sources said investigators have decided to file a chargesheet within three weeks, wherein they will mention details of what transpired with the three minor boys earlier this month, as well as the 34 phone chats. “On scanning Ward’s phone, police found he had been using it for the last four months and had not deleted his chats. Police found that he was chatting with one person through an app that lets the visually impaired communicate,” sources said. According to sources, one of the boys Ward was chatting with is the elder brother of one of the three alleged victims. “Ward exchanged numbers with him when they met during an interaction with students,” police sources said.

To get details of the 34 phone numbers, investigators approached telecom companies. “Police personnel, including women staffers, were sent to addresses in Munirka, Sarita Vihar and Badarpur, but each time they met a parent, they were told their child was not chatting with Ward. They also turned down the police suggestion for counselling for the children,” police sources said.

Sources said the three boys have recorded their statements before the magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC. Police now plan to record the statement of the school’s staffer, who made a video of Ward with the boys. “After Ward allegedly went inside the boys hostel, a woman staffer became suspicious and asked a colleague to check. The colleague then made the video,” sources said.

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