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4 July 2012, 16:12
A 47 year old prison guard from Hertfordshire's been jailed for life for what a police detective's described as the worst case of sexual abuse they've seen.
John Maber from Bushey admitted 27 counts of sexual abuse on one girl from the ages of four months to five years old.
He was at the hub of a network and used the little girl to re-enact vile fantasies discussed on chat logs with paedophiles all over the UK and on the other side of the world.
Maber sat in the dock with his head bowed as St Albans Crown Court heard graphic details of how he blindfolded, groomed and conditioned the child for sexual abuse in the most vile ways.
Prosecutor Beverley Cripps said: "He had a hard wired and deviant interest in the abuse and humiliation of very young girls.
"The record of his abuse is on the internet for perpetuity."
She described the offences as "grotesque".
Maber, who worked at London's Pentonville Jail, was caught after police in New Zealand intercepted an offer from him to abuse a child online.
Specialist officers from the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) were given the information and were able to identify Maber.
Hertfordshire police then arrested him at his home in Oundle Avenue, Watford, Herts on 2 December 2011.
When his computer was examined Hertfordshire police went all over the country to find his network. Fifteen other arrests were made - including a male solicitor and a woman working in education. No charges have yet been brought.
Maber used the names LondonJohnUK and LondonJohn007.
Christopher Strachan, defending, said: "For the first 40 years or so he was of positive good character. He had worked in pubs and abroad and then from 18 years as a prison officer, eventually becoming in charge of two wings at Pentonville.
He went on: "Offending behaviour of this sort is beyond comprehension to the normal civilised mind."
He said Maber now feels shame and revulsion.
Judge Marie Catterson jailed Maber for life. He cannot apply for parole until he has served at least 10 years. She told him:
"The rape represented abhorrent behaviour of the utmost conceivable gravity, and contrary to every normal human instinct.
"All of this you did for your own perverted sexual gratification, with out the slightest regard to the child's welfare.
"You used the depraved the images you had taken to further your standing with others of a similarly perverted mindset."
After sentencing Detective Inspector Damien Kennedy of Hertfordshire police said the girl was treated like a " toy."
He said: "John Maber was the most prolific and depraved sex offender we have ever dealt with.
"He is a wicked and depraved offender who callously procured the abuse of children for his own gratification. He was predatory in its truest sense, and preyed on vulnerable women to secure access to their children.
"Maber was part of a network of paedophiles who communicated with each other via chat logs, often arranging the commission of sexual acts against children."
The mother of the victim said: "He is a monster. I want him named and shamed."
She said her daughter was now doing well.