Thursday 14 November 2019

British paedophile who abused up to 200 children stabbed to death in prison

Richard Huckle. Photo: PA
Richard Huckle. Photo: PA
Richard Huckle

Margaret Davis

One of Britain's worst paedophiles, who abused up to 200 Malaysian children, has been stabbed to death in prison.

Richard Huckle was murdered at HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire on Sunday, sources said.

The Sun reported that he had been stabbed to death with a makeshift blade and was found in his cell.

Huckle was given 22 life sentences at the Old Bailey in 2016 for an unprecedented number of offences against children aged between six months and 12 years.

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The freelance photographer, from Ashford in Kent, awarded himself "Pedopoints" for different acts of abuse against 191 youngsters, and sold images of his depravity on the dark web.

Huckle was arrested when he was stopped at Gatwick Airport en route to spend Christmas with his family in 2014, after Australian authorities tipped off the UK's National Crime Agency.

A stream of pictures and videos of his rapes and assaults on children were shared with paedophiles worldwide through the now defunct dark website TLZ - The Love Zone.

Twenty-three children from poor Christian communities in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur were identified in 71 charges, although Huckle's tally of abuse which he catalogued on a "Pedopoints ledger" was much higher.

Richard Huckle
Richard Huckle

Huckle first visited Malaysia on a teaching gap year when he was 19 and went on to groom more children posing as a respectable Christian English teacher and philanthropist.

Officers seized Huckle's encrypted laptop and, although he refused to hand over passwords, they managed to uncover 20,000 indecent pictures and videos.

They found Huckle's paedophile manual called Paedophiles And Poverty: Child Lover Guide and a "Pedopoints ledger" in which he awarded himself marks for the abuse of 191 girls and boys.

In online posts, Huckle bragged: "Impoverished kids are definitely much easier to seduce than middle-class Western kids."

Offering advice to other like-minded people, he wrote: "If you really want to fully embrace child love, poverty is the way to go."

He said middle-class children were protected "no-go areas" while the less privileged may be "ugly, ill-mannered and unhealthy", the court heard.

Commenting on one of his victims, he boasted: "I'd hit the jackpot, a 3yo girl as loyal to me as my dog and nobody seemed to care."

Huckle crowd-funded the release of indecent images of the three-year-old girl in exchange for Bitcoins, achieving 105% of his target.

His parents were so horrified when he confessed his crimes that they begged police to take him away and made statements to support his prosecution, the court heard.

Ahead of his sentencing, Huckle claimed to a psychiatrist that he wanted to put his "madness" behind him and settle down with a south Indian woman.

But the court was shown a posting from 2013 in which he outlined his plan to marry one of his victims in order to help him abuse more children.

In a message to TLZ's 7,000 users, he described how he had "fallen in love" with South Asia and its "adorable kids".

He wrote: "I have gotten particularly close with one family whom I have known about six years.

"I have sexual contact with four of the girls in that family and, though the family obviously does not approve it, they try to work around it as they know I can be a potentially valuable asset to them in future."

On planning to marry one of the girls when she turns 18, he wrote: "I feel my situation could strongly benefit me in that my partner is still quite young and I have known her since she was seven and I can influence her young mind to mould her into the perfect wife.

"My ambition once married would be for our family to be like foster carers for children, temporary or long term."

A spokeswoman for Humberside Police said: "An investigation has been launched following an incident at HMP Full Sutton on Sunday October 13.

"We were called shortly after 12.30pm reporting that a man had died at the prison.

"Humberside Police are working closely with the Prison Service to investigate the death of an inmate and at this time we are treating the death as suspicious."

A Prison Service spokesman confirmed that Richard Huckle had died but would not comment further while the police investigation was ongoing.

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