Paedophiles who targeted babies and toddlers facing long jail sentences

Paedophiles who targeted babies and toddlers facing long jail sentences

A gang of paedophiles in the UK who raped and abused babies and toddlers in attacks that were streamed over the internet are facing lengthy prison sentences.

The ring preyed on the families of the youngsters they targeted, in one case grooming a mother and father before their baby was born.

Members would often travel long distances to carry out sickening attacks together, or watch the abuse over the internet if only one had access to a victim.

Chilling online chat revealed that members of the gang, who lived across the UK, would offer advice to others on how to drug young victims.

Today, the seven men – aged between 31 and 51 and including three previously convicted sex offenders – will appear before Bristol Crown Court to be sentenced.

The hearing, before Judge Julian Lambert, is expected to take two days, with the men expected to receive their sentences tomorrow.

Together, they have been convicted of 30 child sex abuse offences, including conspiracy to rape and the rape of a child under the age of 13.

Paedophiles who targeted babies and toddlers facing long jail sentences

They are:

* John Denham, formally known as Benjamin Harrop (aged 50) from Wiltshire

* Matthew Stansfield (aged 35) from Hampshire – a convicted sex offender

* Adam Toms (aged 33) from Somerset

* Christopher Knight (aged 35) from Manchester

* Robin Hollyson, previously known as Robin Fallick (aged 31) from Bedfordshire – a convicted sex offender

* David Harsley (aged 51) from East Yorkshire – a convicted sex offender

* Matthew Lisk (aged 33) from East Sussex

The UK's National Crime Agency launched its investigation, codenamed Operation Voicer, last September after Toms contacted police and admitted he had abused a child.

Their inquiries led to the unmasking of the ring operating across the UK, which had links to other paedophiles across the world.

In the weeks that followed, the other six members were arrested and a further two victims were identified.

Another 21 children have been the subject of “safeguarding” measures in relation to the investigation.

The NCA has worked closely with the Avon and Somerset, Bedfordshire, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Humberside, Wiltshire and Sussex police forces, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service and nine local authorities.

Police combed the suspects’ electronic communications and established that contact between them began on adult online sex forums, which are publicly accessible and legal to use.

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