Seven in court on paedophile ring charges

Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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Seven people have appeared in court in connection with an international paedophile ring that was allegedly based in Portsmouth.

The six men and one woman are facing a string of 122 charges involving serious sexual offences with three victims.

The court hearing was the second time the group have appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court.

The number of charges was increased, from 113 at the last court hearing.

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

The seven charged are:

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

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

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

Marketing manager 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.

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

Soldier 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.

Maintenance engineer 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.

Judge Roger Hetherington adjourned the case for a plea and case management hearing on July 15.

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

Day, Bell and Maddox were all released on bail on the conditions that they stay at their home addresses, report to the police regularly, do not contact any witnesses or children under the age of 16. They have also been ordered not to go on the internet.

The other four were remanded in custody.