One of Britain’s worst paedophiles, who shared horrific images on the dark web as he abused up to 200 Malaysian children, has been handed 22 life sentences.
Freelance photographer Richard Huckle, from Ashford in Kent, admitted an unprecedented number of offences against children aged between six months and 12 years.
Judge Peter Rook QC ordered the 30-year-old to serve a minimum of 25 years in jail to reflect the “public abhorrence” over his “campaign of rape” spanning nine years.
A stream of pictures and videos of his rapes and assaults on children were shared with paedophiles worldwide through the now defunct dark website TLZ — The Love Zone.
He even tried to make a business out of his horrific crimes by crowd-funding the release of the images and was compiling a paedophile’s manual at the time of his arrest by the National Crime Agency.
Twenty-three children from poor Christian communities in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur were identified in 71 charges, although Huckle’s tally of abuse which he catalogued on a ‘Pedopoints ledger’ was much higher.
The defendant stood with his hands together as if in prayer as he was sentenced by Judge Rook at the Old Bailey.
The judge told him his “self-delusion knows no bounds” and the 60-page paedophile manual he had written was a “truly evil document”.
He said: “You were and are sexually obsessed with children.
“You have spent years abusing them. In one of your postings you stated that you had become consumed by your paedophilia.
“It is clear from your postings on hidden encrypted paedophile websites on the dark web, and from the manual you were in the process of drafting, that your life revolved around your obsession with your own sexual gratification by child sex abuse.
“It is also clear that, had you not been arrested, you planned to continue the same lifestyle using the expertise that you were keen to show off to and share with other abusers so as to continue your sexual exploitation of the children of such communities.”
In light of Huckle’s refusal to hand over encrypted passwords to hidden files on his computer, the judge added: “In my view, you may well harbour feelings of regret but there is no feeling of genuine remorse in this case.”
As Huckle was sent down, a woman in the public gallery shouted out that “1,000 deaths is too good for you”.
Huckle first visited Malaysia on a teaching gap year when he was 19 and went on to groom more children posing as a respectable Christian English teacher and philanthropist.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved