Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Child sex trial for Brit

Child sex trial for Brit

Child sex trial for Brit

Suspected paedophile Michael Leach, 50, of London, faints outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court in April.

A British man went on trial yesterday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for allegedly purchasing child prostitutes in Kandal province.

Michael Julian Leach, 50, a tourist from London, was arrested in September 2010 at Sneha One Guesthouse in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district on suspicion of sexually abusing three girls between the ages of 10 and 15, presiding Judge Oeung Seang said.

Deputy Prosecutor Oeung Seang said there was sufficient evidence against the defendant as well as five Cambodians facing charges related to the child sex crimes. Sem Deth, the guesthouse’s owner, was charged with providing a location for child prostitution and operating a venue for prostitution. Two motorcycle taxi drivers, Penh Phath, 46, and Nov Nhanh, 42, were charged as accomplices. Alleged brokers Pheth Choeun, 46, and Sim Savoeun, 48, were also charged as accomplices.  

The five were charged based on information supplied to police by Leach during an interrogation after his arrest.  

Motodop Nov Nhanh admitted driving Leach around Phnom Penh, but said he was unaware of any criminal activity. Nuon Phanith, the lawyer for the three girls, expressed confidence in the evidence against the accused.  “There is plenty of evidence to prove he committed the crimes. I would like to ask the court to strongly punish him,” he said. He also asked the court to order the accused to pay the three victims US$5,000 each in compensation, and to expel Leach from Cambodia after serving his sentence.

Leach’s attorney could not be reached for comment yesterday. The verdict is due on September 8.


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release