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'Evil' paedophile ring sentenced to 107 years' jail for 'terrifying depravity'

The judge described their actions as "evil beyond human understanding".

The accounts of their crimes made some feel "physically sick", said Judge Julian Lambert at Bristol Crown Court on Friday.

Seven men from across England raped and assaulted three children — a baby, a toddler and a young child — between 2013 and 2014.

They were convicted of 30 child sexual abuse offences. They were given sentences totalling 107 years.

The men include a married father of two and three Registered Sex Offenders and were convicted in April following an investigation — Operation Voicer — led by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) and seven regional police forces.

Andrew Quinn from the National Crime Agency said: "The offending is the worst you could ever imagine. It does actually make me feel physically sick. I've been a police officer for 28 years and this is the worst, horrendous crime I can ever talk about."

The group shared indecent images and videos of children being abused.

Three of the men admitted to raping a baby.

The court also heard that the men would drive for hundreds of miles for the opportunity to abuse or rape children.

John Denham, 49, Matthew Stansfield, 34, Adam Toms,33, Christopher Knight, 35, Robin Hollyson, 30, David Harsley,51 and Matthew Lisk, 32, would  live stream the abuse and attacks. During these online sessions those watching would encourage the abusers.

Advice was shared over how to drug young victims.

To get to children, the men would groom families. In one case, a pregnant woman was approached with a plan to abuse her baby once born.

Judge Lambert said: "In the worst nightmare, from the very deepest recesses of the mind, at the darkest hour of the night, few can have imagined the terrifying depravity which you men admit."

"What you contemplated and what you did involved the most horrific abuse of a baby and very young children.

"Your thoughts and your deeds are beyond human instinct and reason and are evil beyond rational understanding."

"What you did is contrary to all nature and humanity and you each appear to have a chilling tendency to centre the world on yourselves and your depraved desires without regard for the innocent and vulnerable."

Jailed: (From left) John Denham, Matthew Lisk, Adam Toms, Christopher Knight, David Harsley, Matthew Stansfield, Robin Hollyson PHOTO: NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY
 

Authorities say that the men are part of a larger organised criminal network.

Operation Voicer has resulted in the arrest of 26 to date. Six were in positions of trust – three teachers, two charity workers and one was employed by a local authority.

In a statement, one of the victim's families said: "As a family we now need to mend - seeing the perpetrators being brought to justice is the first step."

Source: BBC, Sky News, National Crime Agency

 

 

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