Eight people face court on paedophile charges

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EIGHT people have been charged in connection with an international paedophile ring which was allegedly based in Portsmouth.

The seven men and one woman are facing a string of 113 charges involving serious sexual offences.

The offences, including rape, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and possession of child pornography, relate to two children under the age of 13 and are alleged to have taken place between 2008 and 2010.

The eight appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court for the first time together today.

None of them have entered any pleas to the charges.

They spoke only to confirm their names.

The eight charged are:

Robert Hathaway, 36, of Tyesley Road, Portsmouth, who is facing charges including rape, sexual assault and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Melissa Noon, 29, of Tyesley Road, Portsmouth, who is facing charges of sexual assault and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Simon Hilton, 28, of Wolsey Road, London, who is facing charges including assault by touching and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Lee Parson, 37, of Arundel Street, Portsmouth, who is facing charges of abetting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Mark Day, 45, of Whitefriars Meadow, Sandwich, Kent, who is facing charges of facilitating a sexual offence and aiding or abetting the rape of a child.

John Maddox, 46, Ellis Avenue, Rainham, Essex, who is facing charges including aiding or abetting the rape of a child.

Daniel Bell, 26, of St James Road, Emsworth, who is facing charges of distributing indecent images of children and aiding or abeting the rape of a child.

Stephen Fraser, 41, Hemingford Road, Cambridge, who is facing charges of making indecent images of children and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said: ‘This stems from an international investigation into allegations of rape and serious sexual assault against young children and the passing distribution of photographs and other chat logs.’

Miss Maylin asked Judge Roger Hetherington for more time before the full list of charges are put to the defendants.

She added: ‘There has also been an international element both in Australia and America and many other European countries which have caused the investigation to take a substantial amount of time.

‘It has been clear, and always clear, that the defendants, when charged were charged with preliminary charges and they were to be reviewed and have been reviewed.’

The News has been unable to report on the case until now because of reporting restrictions.

All eight were remanded in custody.

They are due back in court on May 23 when they are expected to enter pleas.

A trial, expected to last eight weeks, is due to take place in September.