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24 May 2011, 13:03
A woman and seven men have appeared in court on charges relating to the repeated rape and abuse of two children by a world-wide internet child abuse ring.
The eight defendants faced a total of 122 charges at Portsmouth Crown Court, including rape and sexual assault of children aged under 13 and making and distributing indecent photos of children.
Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, told a previous hearing that the case involved the alleged abuse of two children aged under 13. It also involved indecent photos being distributed online and 2,000 pages of internet chatlogs from between 2008 and 2010, the court heard.
Details of the charges were outlined in court at the appearance on Monday 23rd May, they entail the alleged repeated rape and sexual assault of the two children as well as forcing them to carry out sex acts on some of the defendants.
Defendants Robert Hathaway and Melissa Noon are accused of engaging in sexual activity in front of the children. The charges also claim that the pair organised for the children to be abused by others.
Several of the defendants are charged with possessing indecent photos of children and, in some cases, extreme pornography.
Hathaway, 36, of Tyseley Road, Portsmouth, has 67 charges against him, including rape, attempted rape, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and engaging in sexual activity in front of a child. His charges also include possessing, making and distributing indecent photos of children and facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.
Noon, 29, of the same address, faces 16 charges such as sexual assault, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, engaging in sexual activity in front of a child, facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, child cruelty and possessing indecent photos.
Simon Hilton, 28, of Wolsey Road, London, faces 18 charges involving facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, attempted rape and sexual assault of a child, possessing indecent photos of children and extreme pornography.
Lee Parson, 37, of Arundel Street, Portsmouth, faces eight charges involving indecent photos of children.
Stephen Fraser, 41, of Hemingford Road, Cambridge, has 26 charges against him, which include sexual assault and causing a child to engage in sexual activity, facilitating a child sex offence and possessing indecent photos of children and extreme pornography.
Mark Day, 45, of Whitefriars Meadow, Sandwich, Kent, is charged with facilitating a child sex offence on two counts and is charged with helping in the rape of a child.
Daniel Bell, 26, of St James Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, faces a total of 10 charges such as helping in a child rape, facilitating a child sex offence and possessing and attempting to distribute indecent photos of children.
John Maddox, 46, of Ellis Avenue, Rainham, Essex, is charged with possessing indecent photos of children on two counts.
Miss Maylin said of the prosecution at an earlier hearing: "This stems from an international investigation into allegations of rape and serious sexual assault against young children and the passing and distribution of photos and other chatlogs.''
She added: "There has been an international element, both Australia and America and many other European countries, which has caused the investigation to take a substantial amount of time."
The case was adjourned for a plea and case management hearing on July 15 and a trial date was set for September 26.
Maddox, Day and Bell were released on conditional bail but the other defendants were remanded in custody until the next hearing.