A former Christian schoolteacher and freelance photographer, who used his status as an English tutor to abuse babies and rape children in under-privileged communities in Malaysia and Cambodia, has been jailed for life.
A London judge on Monday handed 30-year-old Richard Huckle 22 life sentences for sexually assaulting up to 200 children — some even as young as 6 months. The native of Ashford, Kent, reportedly committed his depraved crimes between 2006 to 2014.
The authorities arrested the predatory pedophile, dubbed as U.K.’s “worst pedophile,” at Gatwick Airport in 2014 on his return home from Southeast Asia, where he committed most of his crimes. He later pleaded guilty to 71 child abuse offenses, including rape, sexual abuse and sexual activity with a child.
The offender has also confessed to abusing almost 200 children on a blog he published on the dark web.
“Your offending behavior became entrenched in your everyday life. Your life revolved around your sexual activities with young children. Your distorted beliefs in respect of children are deep-seated. Your self-delusion knows no bounds,” Judge Peter Rook told Huckle during the hearing. “It is also clear that, had you not been arrested, you planned to continue the same lifestyle using the expertise that you were keen to show off to and share with other abusers so as to continue your sexual exploitation of the children of such communities.”
Along with posting photos of his under-aged victims and accepting bitcoins to publish his monstrous exploits on the internet, Huckle also penned a 60-page manual titled “Pedophiles & Poverty: Child Lover Guide,” dubbed as a “truly evil document” by the judge.
In his blog, the sickening pedophile discussed how “impoverished kids are definitely much easier to seduce than middle-class Western kids.” He also reportedly awarded himself “Pedopoints.”
Most of these kids Huckle targeted lived at Malaysian orphanages.
“Richard Huckle spent several years integrating himself into the community in which he lived, making himself a trusted figure. But he abused that trust in the worst possible way,” said James Traynor from U.K.’s National Crime Agency. “He deliberately traveled to a part of the world where he thought he could abuse vulnerable children without being caught…. Borders are no barrier, we are determined that those who go abroad to abuse children will be held to account.”
Considering Huckle is only sentenced to serve a minimum term of 25 years, Malaysians are asking for harsher punishment.
“The sentencing should be stronger. He is young and what happens if he gets out when he is around 50? Can a pedophile change?” asked Sharmila Sekaran, chair of Malaysia's Voice of the Children. “Is this justice? No. As far as I know he hasn't made any apologies to the victims.”
Her sentiments reflect the thoughts of many, including the woman who shouted, “1,000 deaths is too good for you” from the public gallery during the trial.
Huckle first visited Malaysia at the age of 19 during his gap year.