Ringleader of international paedophile gang could spend life behind bars
By Jaya Narain
Last updated at 7:58 AM on 1st July 2010
Add to My Stories Gareth Hulme, 25, was the lynchpin of a sex abuse network that targeted young children across three countries
The ringleader of an international paedophile gang who was branded 'every parent's nightmare' could spend his life behind bars.
Gareth Hulme, 25, was the lynchpin of a sex abuse network that targeted young children across four countries.
He twice raped a young schoolboy and posted a series of online messages arranging the sexual abuse of other children.
The security guard was eventually apprehended after he boasted about raping a nine-year-old boy on an internet chatroom.
His arrest sparked a string of police raids on homes across Europe leading to the arrest of 25 suspected paedophiles.
More than 20 police forces were called in, including Interpol, to crack down on the child sex ring in Spain, Luxembourg and Ireland.
Last night Hulme was beginning an indeterminate sentence after a judge told him he would remain a danger to young boys for many years to come.
Judge Anthony Gee QC said: 'No right-thinking person hearing the facts of this case can feel anything but horror, revulsion and disgust.
He told Hulme: 'I regard yours as an appalling case. You are a sexual predator and a paedophile. I regard you as a real danger to young boys who you regard as your prey to satisfy deviant and perverted sexual urges.'
Referring to a comment made by Hulme about sex with children where he said 'nine is the youngest that I'd go', Judge Gee said: 'Those views will shock every parent and represents every parent's nightmare.'
The judge said: 'It will be a matter for the authorities to decide when you no longer pose a threat to young boys. It may be in many years to come and may be never.'
Manchester Crown Court heard Hulme would use the MSN chatrooms to exchange encrypted messages with like-minded abusers telling them he enjoyed 'raping young lads' and causing them pain.
On a website for gay youths, the former bouncer groomed a 15-year-old boy and the pair eventually met up and had sex.
The following month, he attempted to arrange to have sex with a child after a man sent him a message claiming to have a cousin they could abuse.
Police were tipped off and Hulme was arrested though police found his claims to have raped a nine-year-old were pure fantasy.
Hulme lured a 10-year-old boy away from his parents at a festival in Cheshire.
He raped the young boy twice on consecutive days, took photos of the rape with his mobile phone and then later told his security firm boss: 'I don't know why I did it.'
Police traced the 10-year-old boy who initially denied anything had happened but later admitted that he had been raped.
In an impact statement his parents said: 'There is not a day that goes by that we do not have to think about what happened. We do not know if our son will ever be the same again.'
Police decoded encrypted messages on Hulme's computer and found images of child abuse and video clips which had been sent to other men.
Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said: 'Amongst the offences discussed and apparently contemplated by Hulme are the force rape of children, sexual activity with boys under 10, gaining access to children to abuse by baby sitting, sharing children to abuse and raping the children of friends and family.'
Last night Hulme from Gorton , Manchester was given an indeterminate sentence for the protection of the public after admitting 24 child sex offences.
They included two rapes of a boy, grooming a child for sexual activity and the making and distribution of graphic video clips of child sex abuse.
Judge Gee QC told Hulme he must serve a minimum of six years before he is eligible for parole but may never be released from prison.
Detective Constable Jordan McGowan of Greater Manchester Police said: 'We are satisfied that Hulme was the ringleader of a loose network of paedophiles who were in contact with each other via encrypted messages on internet chat logs.
'He took people who were thinking that way just that one step further. He is certainly the most dangerous man involved in the network.'
So far three other men, including a former high school maths teacher, have been charged with child sex offences in connection and the investigation continues.
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