Paedophile Richard Huckle handed 22 life sentences for abusing up to 200 children


Central Criminal Court stock

One of Britain's worst paedophiles, who posted on the so-called "dark web" as he abused up to 200 Malaysian children, has been handed 22 life sentences.

Freelance photographer Richard Huckle, from Ashford in Kent, admitted an unprecedented number of offences against children aged between six months and 12 years from 2006 to 2014.

Judge Peter Rook QC ordered the 30-year-old to serve a minimum term of 25 years.

Richard Huckle

Huckle first visited Malaysia on a teaching gap year when he was 19 and went on to groom more children posing as a respectable Christian English teacher and philanthropist.

A stream of pictures and videos of his rapes and assaults on children were shared with paedophiles worldwide through the now defunct dark website TLZ - The Love Zone.

He even tried to make a business out of his horrific crimes by crowd-funding the release of the images and was compiling a paedophile's manual at the time of his arrest by the National Crime Agency.

He was arrested by National Crime Agency officials as he arrived at Gatwick Airport en route to spend Christmas with his family in 2014.

Officers seized Huckle's encrypted laptop and, although he refused to hand over passwords, they managed to uncover 20,000 indecent pictures and videos.

They found Huckle's paedophile manual called Paedophiles And Poverty: Child Lover Guide and a "Pedopoints ledger" in which he awarded himself marks for the abuse of 191 girls and boys.