The case against a woman and seven men facing charges relating to the repeated rape and abuse of two young children by a worldwide internet child abuse ring has been sent by a judge for trial.
The eight defendants, who include a serving soldier, are facing a total of 121 charges at Portsmouth Crown Court including rape and sexual assault of children 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 under 13, and it also involved indecent photos being distributed over the web and 2,000 pages of internet chat logs dating between 2008 and 2010, the court heard.
The allegations involve two defendants, Robert Hathaway and Melissa Noon, engaging in sexual activity in front of the children, and also organising for the children to be abused by others. A trial date of September 26 has been set by Judge Roger Hetherington.
Robert Hathaway, 36, of Tyseley Road, Portsmouth, faces 64 charges including rape, attempted rape, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and engaging in sexual activity in front of a child, and Melissa Noon, 29, of the same address, faces 16 charges including 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 17 charges including facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, attempted rape and sexual assault of a child and possessing indecent photos of children and extreme pornography.
Lee Parson, 37, of Arundel Street, Portsmouth, faces a charge of arranging a child sex offence. He also faces eight charges involving indecent photos of children which will be the subject of a separate trial.
Stephen Fraser, 41, of Hemingford Road, Cambridge, has 26 charges including 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, faces two charges of facilitating a child sex offence and one of aiding the rape of a child, while Daniel Bell, 26, a serving soldier living in military accommodation but previously of St James Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, faces 10 charges including aiding a child rape, facilitating a child sex offence, possessing and attempting to distribute indecent photos of children.
John Maddox, 46, of Ellis Avenue, Rainham, Essex, faces a charge of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and two charges of possessing indecent photos of children.