A VICTIM of child sex abuse and her mother have written books about their traumatic experiences at the hands of a gang jailed after Operation Bullfinch.

The women have published books – Girl for Sale and You Can’t Have My Daughter – under the false names of Lara and Elizabeth McDonnell.

Lara was groomed and trafficked by a paedophile ring in Oxford from the age of 12, while Elizabeth desperately tried to keep her safe.

Known as Girl 3 during the Bullfinch trial in 2013, Lara was drugged, raped, tortured and sent across the country as a child prostitute.

After seven members of the gang were jailed for a total of 95 years in June 2013, the pair began to write about their experiences.

Elizabeth told the Oxford Mail: “Lara started writing hers with the help of a ghost writer. Then in the autumn I decided to start writing mine as well.

“We wanted to tell our story in our own words rather than through the courts and the media.

“Those were only snapshots of what had happened over a very long period of time.

“I wanted to face up to what had happened and put it in to context.”

Elizabeth’s book was published on April 9 and Lara’s book came out on April 23.

Now living in Wales with Lara and her two grandchildren, Elizabeth said: “I also wanted to show how we’ve come through it. There is life beyond it.

“We have a new life and it’s not all doom and gloom.”

Elizabeth used her diaries from the time – which were also used as evidence during the Old Bailey trial – to help her put the book together.

She said: “I really enjoyed the process but there were bits that I didn’t want to write about. It was a terrible time and the whole thing was dreadful.

“At the time it was all so crazy and all over the place that even I didn’t have a sense of how it had all flowed and what had happened in what order.

“Reading some of them when I didn’t know whether she was alive or dead was very painful. But I just gritted my teeth and kept going.”

Despite finding it difficult to write down their experiences, she said both of them found the process therapeutic and hoped the books will help other victims.

But she said it was not just vulnerable girls who should learn from their experiences, but also those who work with vulnerable children.

A Serious Case Review, published in March, criticised the county council for not identifying the abuse and keeping Lara and other victims safe. Despite calls for her to be sacked, council chief executive Joanna Simons refused to resign.

Elizabeth said: “I hope it’s being read by social workers who can learn what it’s like for parents.

“We are seen as part of the problem when we are often out there looking, searching, reporting and being the frontline agency. I wanted to show the monumental level and depth of Oxfordshire County Council’s failings.”