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ONE of the men accused of being part of a paedophile ring talked online about abusing children, a court heard.

Detective Constable Rachel Frazer analysed Daniel Bell’s laptop, which was seized when he was arrested on December 23 last year.

She told a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court she discovered 14 indecent images of children on the machine.

Bell, 27, a serving soldier living in military accommodation but previously of St James Road, Emsworth, is on trial with four others accused of being part of the international paedophile ring that stretched around the world to Australia.

Robert Hathaway, 36, of Tyseley Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth, has already confessed to more than 40 offences relating to sex assaults on children and the possession of indecent images.

Bell is alleged to have arranged with Hathaway to abuse a child.

Det Con Frazer spoke about a chat log from October 27, 2010, retrieved from Hathaway’s computer, of an online conversation between the pair.

In the chat on MSN Messenger Bell asked Hathaway if he’d had any ‘fun’ with a child recently and if he could send him photos before adding: ‘If I ask to see pics and you don’t want to show them just let me know and I won’t ask mate.’

She said that during the online conversation Hathaway sent a number of photos to Bell with him responding with comments like: ‘Oh yes LOL’ and ‘Now that is an awesome pic’.

She said Bell also asked Hathaway graphic questions about what it was like to abuse a child and appeared to revel in the responses.

Det Con Frazer said that if Bell hadn’t wanted to receive the pictures from Hathaway he could have closed the chat log down.

Melissa Noon, 30 of Tyseley Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth; 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.