I took in a feral 5 year old boy who ate from a dog bowl and chewed on glass – a scary find in his teddy bear left me stunned

WATCHING in horror five-year-old Billy crawl across the floor on all fours and start eating food from the dog’s bowl, foster family Louise Allen wondered why she had let herself go.

During the first few days when his last charge was in the house, he rushed at breakneck speed, kicked his daughter in the shin and smashed precious statues and flower pots in the garden .

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Louise Allen has spent over a decade caring for troubled childrenCredit: provided
Billy's story is about an injured five-year-old rescued from an infamous family

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Billy’s story is about an injured five-year-old rescued from an infamous family

He would go on to bite Louise’s children on the ankle while barking like a dog and even smash a window pane before stuffing shards of glass into her mouth.

But this whirlwind of destruction wasn’t the only horror that would unfold when the broken boy revealed his secrets.

Billy – one of more than 20 children rescued from a family – was severely sexually abused by a ring of pedophiles who assaulted them at paid ‘parties’ and women who ran a thriving business selling videos horrible on illegal porn sites.

And in the latest book in her best-selling Thrown Away Children series, Billy’s Story, Louise reveals that the Blackthorn* family controlled the children’s behavior even after they were taken into care.

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The artist, author and foster carer – herself a survivor of child sexual abuse – tells The Sun that Billy and the family’s other rescued children were not an isolated case.

“There was hideous abuse and misogyny in that community,” she says. “Many of the women who gave birth to the children had grown up being abused themselves, which is sickening.

“The sad thing is that these children were raised to be sexually abused, like many others, in communities we don’t know.

“They are well hidden but they exist, and children are being bought, sold and moved across the country for sexual abuse all the time.”

Barking, biting and eating from a dog bowl

Over ten years ago, Louise opened the home in Somerset, which she shares with her husband Lloyd and children Jackson, Lily and Vincent, for troubled children of all ages.

But Billy* – who arrived with a small bag of clothes and a stuffed animal called Sharon, who Louise describes as ‘ugly and scary’ – instantly displayed some of the most heartbreaking behavior she had encountered.

“The first thing he did was eat the four-legged dogs dinner, which was an unsettling sight,” she says.

“We later found out that the Blackthorns had fighting dogs and the children all ate from the same bowl as them.

“Once, when we were having dinner, he jumped on the table, knocked everything over, broke all the dishes and started barking like a dog, which disturbed the other children.

“Another time he ran under the table barking and bit Lily’s ankle, causing her to bleed, before biting me and sinking his teeth into Lloyd’s calf.”

Louise was also horrified when the tot threw a shoe onto the glass veranda, smashing a window pane, before picking up shards of glass and chewing on them.

“I still have tears in my eyes when I think about it,” she says. “How did he have so little fear or respect for himself that he could do this?

“It is the crushing and heartbreaking reality of dealing with abused children. They don’t like each other. You have to teach them to love themselves. »

Chaos at school

More trouble arose when Billy secured a spot in a local primary. On the first day, he attacked several children, kicked the teacher, punched the principal in the stomach and destroyed two classrooms.

He was kicked out after the first day, meaning Louise, who also works as an illustrator, had to put the job on hold for homeschooling.

On another gruesome occasion, Billy suddenly became terrified that the house guests were there for a “party”.

Gently, Louise discovered that the little boy had been sexually abused at home during “parties” organized by the family.

Louise looks after foster children at her home in Somerset

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Louise looks after foster children at her home in SomersetCredit: provided
Billy tried to eat from bowls meant for Louise, Dotty and Doug's dogs

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Billy tried to eat from bowls meant for Louise, Dotty and Doug’s dogsCredit: provided

Micro-controlled kids plush toy

Despite Louise’s attempts to calm him down, Billy’s destructive behavior continued and it appears the foster families caring for the other Blackthorn children, who were part of a WhatsApp group, were having similar experiences.

A young girl had tried to seduce her adult carer, another had attacked a family cat and others had destroyed property – all at times similar to Billy’s outbursts.

In an unexpected twist, after a whistleblower from another parent, Louise discovered that a two-way microphone was hidden in the “ugly” teddy bear, who was named Sharon.

It turned out that Sharon was also the name of a member of the Blackthorn family who spoke to all the children and asked them to wreak havoc on their new homes.

“In our group chat, we could actually line up when another kid was exposing themselves or doing something quite dramatic, and we thought it was weird that they were doing it at the same time,” says -she.

“The Blackthorn women wanted the children back, because they had the evidence to cause the family to disappear. But the children were also their business.

Louise and her husband Lloyd work together to help children

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Louise and her husband Lloyd work together to help childrenCredit: provided
Louise - pictured with her stepson - takes in damaged children

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Louise – pictured with her stepson – takes in damaged childrenCredit: provided

Raised for abuse

Having grown up in an institution herself, Louise was sexually abused by an older adoptive brother and his friends from the age of six and was also neglected, starved and abused by her adoptive parents.

Re-enacting the horrors of Billy’s life, Louise had a stomach ache – but when the truth finally emerged, it was worse than she had imagined.

After years of being left alone by police and social workers – who saw the Blackthorns as untouchable – a raid on their tight-knit criminal community has revealed systematic abuse passed down for generations.

The family owned an entire estate of houses, and the children lived in dormitories in several houses while the adults lived nearby.

The men were involved in numerous criminal activities, and four of the Blackthorn women ran a pornography racket and raised children to be in movies.

The artist and illustrator in a rare moment of peace

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The artist and illustrator in a rare moment of peaceCredit: provided

Billy’s own mother had been abused and had three children when she was 16.

Upon hearing the extent of the abuse, Louise admits she was physically ill – and she reveals she was told Billy was one of the ‘lucky ones’ as some of the children born into the family were never born. found.

During the raid on the Blackthorns, many were tipped off and fled, and the brunt of the prosecution involved female relatives.

“A lot of men disappeared and probably started other businesses elsewhere,” says Louise.

“These families are like mafia organizations and are incredibly connected across Europe, across America, so they could be anywhere.”

Billy then found a long-term placement with a foster family and is doing well now.

But as a survivor herself, Louise tells stories like Billy’s that still anger and upset her.

“What bothers me most is the exploitation of the genuinely innocent,” she says.

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“The increase in pornography is fueling massive child abuse activity, which is causing emotional and physical damage and the results are heartbreaking.

“But if you sexually abuse a child, you’ve dehumanized that child, and as long as people don’t like to talk about it, it will thrive.”

*Names have been changed

Billy’s Story, published by Welbeck, is out November 10 for £8.99.

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