Retired Portsmouth soldier paid £8,500 to live-stream child sex abuse from the Philippines

A FORMER lieutenant colonel in the British Army spent thousands of pounds paying for and directing live-streamed child sexual abuse from the Philippines.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:28 pm
Former Lt Col Andrew Whiddett MBE leaves Croydon Crown Court Wednesday after he pleaded pleaded guilty to six charges relating to the sexual abuse of children. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Andrew Whiddett, 70, from Portsmouth, also discussed flying to the country to commit contact child sexual abuse himself.

In conversations with one woman between September and October 2016, Whiddett made it clear he wanted to sexually abuse a child when he visited the Philippines that October.

In a 25-minute conversation with the woman on 28 September 2016 he asked if the girl will be with her and he said: ‘need to do more teaching’ and ‘Look forward to touch’, ‘yes darling, need to open her mind’ and ‘lots of teaching before I arrive’.

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Former Lt Col Andrew Whiddett MBE leaves Croydon Crown Court Wednesday after he pleaded pleaded guilty to six charges relating to the sexual abuse of children. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Travel records show he flew to Manila, Philippines, on 21 October 2016.

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National Crime Agency investigators were able to prove that he paid this woman a total of £8,584.

He made 31 payments to her totalling £6,425 between January 2015 and January 2016.

Whiddett now faces jail after he spent thousands of pounds to watch children being sexually abused in images streamed live from the Philippines. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

And he made another 18 payments to her totalling £2,158 between April 2016 and July 2017.

Yesterday at Croydon Crown Court, Whiddett admitted live-streaming offences and making indecent images of children.

Whiddett, who after leaving the Army was employed as a private contractor as head of security at the British Embassy in Baghdad, will be sentenced on 22 May.

His offending was carried out from the UK after he had retired from the Army and private security work.

Andrew Whiddett. Picture: NCA

Whiddett committed the live-streaming abuse over Skype with known Filipino child sex abuse facilitators. The NCA passed intelligence to Filipino counterparts who arrested one facilitator and safeguarded six children aged between three and 14.

NCA investigators were able to show that on 21 November 2015, Whiddett paid £31.41 to watch a nine-year-old girl be abused.

Officers discovered other messages between Whiddett and abuse facilitators.

In one he said ‘nice pics’ and another states ‘do you think I bad asking for them’.

He also asked: 'If I visit would you let me see daughter’ and ‘If I visit what you allow me to do’.

Whiddett, who has no previous convictions, was arrested on 31 October 2017 at Heathrow Airport.

In interview he admitted sending 158 payments to the Philippines but claimed they were for live adult sex shows.

Whiddett was interviewed again in March 2018 and declined to answer any questions.

NCA senior investigating officer Gary Fennelly said: ‘Andrew Whiddett was directly responsible for the soul destroying abuse of children thousands of miles away from him.

‘He thought he could get away with abusing Filipino children from the comfort of his own home. Anyone like him should realise the NCA and UK police will never give up our pursuit of offenders who commit these horrific crimes.

‘The NCA does important work with international law enforcement partners in the Philippines to combat these sorts of crimes.’

An NSPCC spokesperson said: ‘Whiddett’s actions have helped to fuel a sickening industry where children are horrifically abused to order.

‘The effects of sexual abuse can last a lifetime and we hope that the children involved are receiving support and safeguarding to get their lives back on track.

‘The internet is used as a gateway to child abuse far too frequently.

‘The NSPCC is campaigning for providers to take greater responsibility for what’s shared on their platforms and cut off this vile material at source.’