A paedophile who is thought to have abused hundreds of babies and young children has been jailed for life.
Richard Huckle, 30, from Ashford in Kent, was given 22 life sentences for sexually abusing youngsters aged between six months and 13 years old.
Huckle, who has been described as Britain’s ‘worst paedophile,’ posed as a teacher and claimed to be a committed Christian to gain people’s trust and get access to vulnerable children living in poverty in Malaysia.
He bragged about his crimes on the ‘dark web’, uploading more than 20,000 sick images and was writing a manual on how to be a child abuser.
But his depraved behaviour, which spanned a period of eight years, was finally uncovered when police in Australia arrested another paedophile who was working on the hidden website.
Used his log in, officers took over the running of the site which led them to Huckle. Using data he had posted, they managed to identify who he was and when he returned home for Christmas in 2014, he was arrested at Gatwick Airport.
He initially denied 91 charges relating to 23 youngsters in Kuala Lumpur and Cambodia, but later pleaded guilty to 71 of the offences. UK legislation means that a British suspect can be charged for crimes committed abroad.
Investigators, however, believe he could have abused up to 200 different children.
Sentencing him at London’s Old Bailey, Judge Peter Rook QC said he would serve a minimum of 23 years behind bars for his crimes.
He added it was rare that a judge has to sentence sexual offending by one person on such a scale.
According to a report in The Guardian, Huckle was told: “Relentlessly, you preyed upon the very young – pre-pubescent vulnerable children from a minority ethnic community into which you integrated yourself. This was a prolonged campaign of rape of the children from a small community.”
Huckle also claims to have had repeated access to children at a London church.