British pedophile jailed for abusing children in Malaysia

LONDON — A British man who wrote a manual giving pedophiles advice on how to abuse children and avoid detection was jailed for life after pleading guilty to sexually abusing numerous children in Malaysia.

Richard Huckle, 30, from Ashford in the southern English county of Kent, admitted 71 counts of abuse against at least 23 children over an almost nine-year period. Police believe he abused up to 200, the BBC reported.

Huckle admitted charges including 13 counts of rape and taking numerous indecent photographs and videos of the abuse. His victims ranged in age from six months to 12 years old, the BBC reported. They were from poor Christian communities in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, the Press Association (PA) news agency said.

Huckle, who presented himself as a practicing Christian, first visited Malaysia to teach when he was 18 or 19, the BBC reported. “Huckle gained the trust of the families he groomed by providing English language tuition for the children,” the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

“He deliberately traveled to a part of the world where he thought he could abuse vulnerable children without being caught,” the NCA’s James Traynor said. The NCA launched the investigation after Huckle was identified as having made indecent images that were posted on a child abuse website. He was arrested after he landed at Gatwick Airport from Malaysia in Dec. 2014.

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Huckle, a freelance photographer, was sentenced to life imprisonment at London’s Old Bailey on Monday and told he will serve a minimum of 23 years and 242 days.

Anthony Hill, the international justice and organized crime prosecutor at Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, said: “It is hard to put into words the sheer depravity of this case. For almost nine years, Richard Huckle subjected at least 23 children, some of them very young, to the most horrifying abuse imaginable.

“He deliberately targeted and groomed vulnerable communities abroad to gain their trust.”.

Hill said Huckle photographed the abuse and uploaded it on the dark web.

“He created a score card where he gave himself points for different types of abuse and wrote a pedophile manual giving tips on how to abuse victims and avoid detection,” he said.

Judge Peter Rook said the 60-page pedophile manual was a “truly evil document,” the PA reported. The manual was ready to be published online, the NCA 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 pedophilia,” Rook told the court, according to the PA.

He added: “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.”.

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