Paedophile ring defence urge jury to ignore emotion

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THE jury in the case of an alleged international paedophile ring based in Portsmouth has been urged to judge the case without prejudice and emotion by the defence.

The trial of Melissa Noon, Simon Hilton, Daniel Bell, Mark Day and John Maddox is due to come to an end next week.

Yesterday, the defending barristers began making their closing speeches.

Hilton, 29, of Wolsey Road, Islington, London, has admitted 13 charges, including sexual assault of a child and possession of indecent images but he denies a charge of arranging the commission of a child sex offence.

Andrew Turton, defending Hilton, said: ‘You know that Simon Hilton has, on his own admission, acted beyond the pale of anything that is generally accepted as proper behaviour.

‘But Hilton, despite his admitted perversion, despite his acceptance that he is what we all now call a paedophile, here even he draws a line.

‘A line that he would not cross.

‘Whatever you think he might have thought, imagined or contemplated, a line that when it comes to it prevented him from committing the act which the prosecution say he planned on doing.’

IT consultant Hilton chose not to give evidence during the trial but he gave extensive police interviews where he admitted meeting Robert Hathaway, who has already pleaded guilty to more than 40 offences.

Hilton said he had been enticed into committing offences by Hathaway, 36, of Tyseley Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth.

He claimed he felt sickened by what he had done.

Mr Turton said: ‘No doubt you were all sickened yourselves by that which you have heard and by that which he has admitted but please try to put those feelings to one side when considering this case.’

Mr Turton asked the jury to look at the case without emotion or prejudice.

‘These are words that are easy to say but the actual doing of it, I accept, for any of you may be very difficult.’

Noon, 30, of Tyseley Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth; Bell, 27 of St James Road, Emsworth; Day, 45, formerly of Gosport but now living in Whitefriars Meadow, Sandwich, Kent, and Maddox, 47, of Ellis Avenue, Rainham, Essex, all deny charges relating to the sexual abuse of children.

(Proceeding)

CHARGE SHEET

· Melissa Noon denies 12 charges, dating between May 2008 and December 2010.

She is charged with three counts of causing a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity, three of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and two of sexual assault of a child under 13. Noon is also charged with inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch a sexual act and two counts of possession of indecent images of children.

· Daniel Bell is facing two counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, attempting to distribute an indecent image of children and two of possession of indecent photographs of children. 

· Simon Hilton is facing one count of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence. 

· Mark Day is facing two counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence. 

· John Maddox is facing one charge of causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.