Paedophiles raped babies and toddlers

A gang of paedophiles raped and abused babies, toddlers and pre-school children in attacks that were streamed over the internet to users around the world, a court heard.

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

Members travelled hundreds of miles to carry out sickening attacks together, or used the internet to encourage and direct others to abuse victims.

Chilling online chats revealed that members of the gang, who lived across the UK, would offer advice on how to drug young victims and avoid injury.

The seven men, aged between 31 and 51 and including three previously convicted sex offenders, appeared before Bristol Crown Court to be sentenced.

Judge Julian Lambert said the process would take at least two days, with sentences imposed on the defendants either today or on a later date.

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

They are: John Denham, formally known as Benjamin Harrop, 50, from Wiltshire, Matthew Stansfield, 35, from Hampshire, a convicted sex offender, Adam Toms, 33, from Somerset, Christopher Knight, 35, from Manchester, Robin Hollyson, previously known as Robin Fallick, 31, from Bedfordshire, a convicted sex offender, David Harsley, 51, from East Yorkshire, a convicted sex offender and Matthew Lisk, 33, from East Sussex.

Prosecuting, Robert Davies told the court he would not give in-depth details about offences committed by the men.

“The manner of it is sufficiently disturbing that it would not be capable of being reported by the press in any eventuality,” Mr Davies said.

Mr Davies said the victims included babies, pre-school children and two brothers in America, who were forced to abuse each other for paedophiles watching online.

“The investigation and prosecution of these defendants exposed a world many would not have believed,” Mr Davies told the court.

“The evidence discovered the shocking interest a group of men had in sexually assaulting babies, toddlers and pre-school children.

“A real baby was for certain abused and raped by some of those involved. Another lad was drugged and abused.

"Another boy was brought to a room where a defendant engaged in sexual activity for the enjoyment of two others, who were watching over the internet.

“The youngster’s presence was a big part of what was arousing them.”

Mr Davies said the attacks involved defendants driving hundreds of miles “all for the chance to perpetrate rape or cruel sexual indignities against a baby or a child”.


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