Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Paedophile ring trial: Five guilty

A woman and four men have been found guilty of offences relating to an international paedophile ring at Portsmouth Crown Court
A woman and four men have been found guilty of offences relating to an international paedophile ring at Portsmouth Crown Court

A woman and four men have been found guilty of offences relating to an international paedophile ring.

Melissa Noon and the four other defendants, including serving soldier 27-year-old Daniel Bell, were convicted at Portsmouth Crown Court.

The offences related to the abuse of two young children by the ring which used a nudist website as a guise for their perversions.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, told the trial that Noon and her partner Robert Hathaway were at the centre of the international paedophile ring which abused two British children under 13. Hathaway set up a naturist website as a guise for distributing indecent photos and videos of children as well as to meet like-minded perverts around the world, the jury was told.

The abuse included rape, attempted rape and the use of sex aids, and police seized more than 20 sex aids from Noon and Hathaway, the trial heard.

Noon was found guilty of three charges, Simon Hilton, 29, of Wolsey Road, London, was convicted of one charge, Mark Day, 45, of Whitefriars Meadow, Sandwich, Kent, was found guilty of one charge.

Bell, a serving soldier living in military accommodation but previously of St James Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, was found guilty of two charges. John Maddox, 47, of Ellis Avenue, Rainham, Essex, was convicted of one charge. All charges related to child sex offences.

As well as the defendants convicted in court, a further four have already pleaded guilty to their part in the paedophile ring. Ringleader Robert Hathaway, 36, of Tyseley Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to 45 offences. Stephen Fraser, 41, of Hemingford Road, Cambridge, admitted 27 charges.

Lee Parson, 38, of Arundel Street, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to one charge of arranging a child sex offence, three charges of possessing indecent photos of children and one of taking indecent photos of children. Jonathan Garner-Harris, 37, a teacher, who lived at Marrick Priory, Marrick, North Yorkshire, was investigated by Durham police and pleaded at Durham Crown Court for 20 offences. He is to be sentenced alongside the other convicted defendants at Portsmouth at a later date.

The final charge against Noon, of arranging a child sex offence, was ordered to lie on file by Judge Roger Hetherington after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

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