Met officers gather evidence from 12 victims to secure conviction against prolific child abuser
A team of dedicated Met officers have been praised for their commitment in bringing a sex offender to justice as part of an investigation which spanned three counties.
Michael Costin, 59 (02.02.65) of no fixed address was found guilty on Friday, 9 February, at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
He was convicted of seven counts of indecent assault on a child. He had previously pleaded guilty to 14 counts of the same charge.
Costin’s conviction comes as the Met reaffirms its commitment to protecting vulnerable children, including investigating non-recent sexual abuse and bringing predatory offenders to justice.
During the investigation, the team worked through vast amounts of material including witness statements to evidence Costin’s offending. They conducted enquiries across various locations in the UK including Essex, Suffolk and Northern Ireland, carefully piecing together timelines and accounts.
Between 2017 and 2023, victims came forward to multiple police forces detailing horrific accounts of the sexual abuse they faced while Costin abused his position as a scout leader.
Detectives established that Costin abused three victims between 1982 and 1986 in Rush Green in east London. He went on to abuse a further nine victims in and around the Suffolk area between 1989 and 1994.
Costin groomed his victims, who gave harrowing accounts in their interviews to specialist Met officers, with some describing how they were sexually assaulted while they slept at camps, received ‘love letters’ from their abuser and were forced to perform sexual acts.
Detective Chief Inspector Tariq Farooqi, whose team led the investigation, said: "I firstly want to acknowledge the bravery of the victims, whose courage has been unwavering. What they had to go through as children is deeply upsetting and I hope the verdict helps in some way in providing closure to both the victims and families.
"Costin is a predator who attempted to deny many of the allegations against him – which officers spent countless hours working to disprove through the vital interviews and evidence gathering.
"I hope this result demonstrates we’ll do all that we can to protect vulnerable children and tackle sexual violence. Our message to victims is clear – please come forward and you’ll be listened to and supported, no matter how long ago a crime occurred.”
A handwritten letter by one of the victims, addressed to his parents, explained the abuse he faced by Costin during his time as a Rush Green scout. This letter was passed to police and helped as evidence of Costin's crimes. Sadly, he will never know the final outcome of this investigation as he passed away. Detectives remain in contact with his family to provide support.
Costin pleaded guilty on 13 June 2023 to the 14 counts of indecent assault. At the time he was already in prison for other sexual offences committed in the Oxford area between 2007-2010.
In 1996, Costin was convicted and sentenced to two years for similar offences.
+ Advice and details of charities that can offer support to victims of sexual offences can be found on the Met's website. The Met has specially trained officers who will listen and support you through the investigative process.