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'Evil beyond understanding' - British men jailed for live-streaming rape of young children

“Their callousness beggars belief,” said one investigator.

Warning: Although not graphically detailed, some of the content of this article may be upsetting to some readers.

nca1_2 John Denham (L), Matthew Lisk (R) Source: National Crime Agency

AN ENGLISH COURT today sentenced seven men to prison for raping and sexually abusing babies and young children and sharing the abuse online through pictures and live videos.

The men, who lived across Britain, preyed on the families of children to gain access to them.

They were convicted of 29 child sex abuse offenses, including multiple rape of a child under 13, conspiracy to rape, sexual assault, and making and showing indecent images of children.

Handing down the sentences at Bristol Crown Court, Judge Julian Lambert said the men had engaged in “some of the most depraved and grossly deviant behavior imaginable.”

Your thoughts and deeds are beyond human instinct and reason, and are evil beyond rational understanding.

The men, aged 31 to 51, were handed prison sentences of two to 24 years.

nca3_5 (L-R) Adam Toms, Christopher Knight, David Harsley. Source: National Crime Agency

The National Crime Agency (NCA) began investigating in September 2014 when one of the men – Adam Toms – admitted to police that he had sexually abused a child under 5 years old.

The probe was then expanded and identified other offenders in the group.

The agency said one of the men “groomed” a pregnant mother and her partner in order to win their trust and gain access to their child once it was born.

At least one victim was given drugs to enable the men to carry out abuse, and a statement from the NCA said:

The group even offered advice and guidance to others regarding how much drug to administer to a child, depending on their age.

nca6_7 Matthew Stansfield (L), Robin Hollyson (R). Source: National Crime Agency

Authorities identified and safeguarded three victims — a baby, a toddler and a pre-primary school age child.

Reacting to today’s events, the NCA’s Graham Gardner said:

Today’s sentences highlight the depravity of these men – a depth of depravity that thankfully we rarely see.
These offenders demonstrated a determined ruthlessness to identify vulnerable babies and infants who were unable to protect themselves. Their callousness beggars belief.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: Massive increase in child sex abuse material uncovered by Irish internet hotline>

Read: Dozens of children moved around Ireland for sexual exploitation>

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Dan MacGuill

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