Prolific child abuser who created “paedophile guide” jailed for life for sexual...

Prolific child abuser who created “paedophile guide” jailed for life for sexual abuse against children and babies

A British man who used his position as an English school teacher in Malaysia to groom families and gain access to their very young children has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to 71 child abuse offences.

Huckle, 30, was sentenced in a London court on Monday, June 7, to 22 life prison terms to be served concurrently, meaning he faces more than 23 years behind bars before a parole board can consider his release.

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An investigation by the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command was launched into Richard Huckle after he was identified as the producer of indecent images on a child abuse website on the internet.

When NCA officers arrested him in 2014, they found 20,000 indecent images on his computer, 1,117 of which showed him raping and abusing children in his care. He had also created a 60 page ‘how to guide’ for other paedophiles, giving tips on how to abuse children and evade capture. This document was ready for publishing online. His behaviour included creating a ‘score card’ to rate how many children he had abused.

Huckle, from Ashford in Kent, first visited Kuala Lumpur in 2005. He took a gap year placement in a township in the city, which is not being named to protect the victims.

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In 2006, he travelled to Asia again where spent two weeks in Cambodia, staying with a local family. Whilst there, he took indecent images of a child in the family aged around three.

He also returned to Malaysia, where he met two girls, aged four and six. In 2007 he stayed with the girls’ family, taking up a voluntary teaching post at a small tuition centre in the village. He first sexually abused and took photographs of the girls in 2006. This abuse continued for the next eight years until his arrest.

Between 2005 and 2010, Huckle visited Malaysia eight times. In 2010, he moved to Malaysia permanently and enrolled at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University to study information technology. From May 2011, he started working as a freelance professional photographer.

Huckle gained the trust of the families he groomed by providing English language tuition for the children. Between 2006 and 2014, he sexually abused a further 12 children including 10 girls and two boys. Five of the children were living in a children’s home.

In one incident, he took a victim for a day out to celebrate her 5th birthday and sexually abused her at his house.

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Huckle was arrested at Gatwick Airport on 19th December 2014 as he flew back to the UK from Malaysia. The CEOP Command’s Victim Identification team conducted a detailed analysis of over 20,000 indecent images of children recovered from Huckle’s computers and cameras, in order to identify the time, date and locations of abuse, as well as securing enough evidence to prove who the victims were and the acts committed against them. This enabled the prosecution to go ahead without the need for the victims to give evidence in court.

Huckle was subsequently charged with 91 offences, including 14 counts of rape of a child under 13 years old, relating to five victims aged between three and 12 at the time of the abuse, and the sexual assault of a baby believed to be six months old. The charges also include inciting two victims, aged three and 10, to engage in sexual activity with each other, which Huckle photographed.

James Traynor from the NCA’s CEOP command said:

“Richard Huckle spent several years integrating himself into the community in which he lived, making himself a trusted figure. But he abused that trust in the worst possible way.

“He deliberately travelled to a part of the world where he thought he could abuse vulnerable children without being caught.

“The NCA worked to track down Huckle and end his prolific abuse, using Section 72 legislation in this case, which allows UK nationals to be prosecuted in the UK for offences that have been committed overseas. Borders are no barrier– we are determined that those who go abroad to abuse children will be held to account.”

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