British court jails five members of global paedophile ring

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A British court on Tuesday jailed four men and one woman for committing "horrific" crimes against two children, one in Australia and one in Britain, after meeting via the internet.

Judge Roger Hetherington sentenced 37-year-old Robert Hathaway, a member of an international ring of paedophiles who used a nudist website as a cover for their activities, to 12 years in prison.

His partner, 30-year-old Melissa Noon, was sentenced to four years at Portsmouth Crown Court, southern England, after the court earlier heard how the group had repeatedly subjected the two children to "horrific" abuse.

The other three defendants, who all met the couple via the internet, were given varying custodial sentences.

Stephen Fraser, 42, and Simon Hilton, 29, were both jailed for four years while Lee Parson, 38, received a three-year sentence.

All five defendants were British.

© 2011 AFP

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