Child sex abuse films are played to jurors at trial

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THE jury in the trial of a woman and four men accused of being part of an international paedophile ring has been made to watch videos of child abuse.

The six men and six women of the jury watched two films yesterday that were found on Rob Hathaway’s laptop.

Hathaway, 36, of Tyseley Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth, has already admitted more than 40 offences relating to child abuse. His partner Melissa Noon, 30, and four other men deny a total of 20 charges.

Noon sat with her head bowed, eyes closed and hands over her ears as the films played.

Judge Roger Hetherington cleared the public gallery and warned the jury of what they were about to see.

He said: ‘They may be distressing for some of you and if that is so that is unfortunate but the reason you have to see them is because they may be relevant.’

Mark Day, 45, formerly of Gosport but now living in Whitefriars Meadow, Sandwich, Kent; Simon Hilton, 29, of Wolsey Road, Islington, London; and John Maddox, 47, of Ellis Avenue, Rainham, Essex, all deny charges relating to the sexual abuse of children.

Day sat in the dock with his head down, holding a chain of rosary beads and apparently talking to himself under his breath. At one point Hilton, who appeared to be crying, left the dock for a few minutes.

The jury has heard that Noon allegedly spoke online about having watched one of the videos.

She is accused of abusing two children along with Hathaway, Hilton and another man, Stephen Fraser, 41, of Hemingford Road, Cambridge, who has admitted sexual assault of a child aged under 13 and causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

The couple are alleged to have shared the abuse online and arranged for others to abuse children as well.

Earlier in the day the jury was read a record of an online conversation between Noon and another man in Australia, Bruce Ford, who is facing charges over there in relation to the sexual abuse of children.

During that conversation Noon said she was looking forward to visiting him and talked about the things he did to children.

Noon also asked Ford to send her videos of abuse.

(Proceeding)