Jury retires in paedophile case ring case
A jury retired today to consider its verdicts for a third day in the trial of a woman and four men accused of being members of an international paedophile ring.
The five defendants, who include a serving soldier, are facing a range of charges at Portsmouth Crown Court including the sexual assault of children and making and distributing indecent photos of children.
The case centres around Melissa Noon, 30 and her partner Robert Hathaway, who set up a naturist website as a guise to distribute indecent photos and videos of children and to arrange meetings with other people to abuse youngsters.
Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, told the trial that the paedophile ring raped and abused two children aged under 13.
Noon faces three charges of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, one of causing a child to watch a sexual act, two of sexual assault of a child, three of arranging a child sex offence, one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and two of possessing indecent photographs of children.
Simon Hilton, 29, of Wolsey Road, London, faces a charge of arranging a child sex offence.
Mark Day, 45, of Kent, faces two charges of arranging a child sex offence.
Daniel Bell, 27, a serving soldier living in military accommodation but previously of St James Road, Emsworth, Hampshire, faces two charges of arranging a child sex offence, two of possessing indecent photos of children, and one of attempting to distribute an indecent image of children.
John Maddox, 47, of Ellis Avenue, Rainham, Essex, faces a charge of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
The trial has heard that Hathaway, 36, of Tyseley Road, Portsmouth, previously pleaded guilty to 45 offences including charges of rape, sexual assault of children and possessing indecent images of children.