Jury sworn in to hear trial of Portsmouth based paedophile ring

TRIAL Portsmouth Crown Court
TRIAL Portsmouth Crown Court
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A JURY has been sworn in to hear the trial of a woman and four men accused of being part of an international paedophile ring based in Portsmouth.

Melissa Noon, Simon Hilton, Mark Day, Daniel Bell and John Maddox are facing a string of offences involving three children under the age of 13. 

The six men and six  who will sit on the jury were chosen today and the prosecutor Kerry Maylin is due to open the case tomorrow morning. 

The five defendants sat in the dock as the court clerk read out the 20 charges that are on the indictment.

Noon, 30, of Tyseley Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth is facing 12 charges, dating back to between May 22, 2008 and December 9, 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, 27, a serving soldier living in military accommodation but previously of St James Road, Emsworth, is facing five counts, all between the same dates.

He is accused of 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, 29, of Wolsey Road, Islington, London, is facing three counts of arranging or facilitating the commission a child sex offence between the same dates. 

Mark Day, 45, of Whitefriars Meadow, Sandwich, Kent, is facing two counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence. 

John Maddox, 46, of Ellis Avenue, Rainham, Essex, is facing one charge, from October 8, last year, of causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity. 

The trial is being heard at Portsmouth Crown Court before Judge Roger Hetherington.