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Sussex man jailed for 13 years for child sex offences

Richard Hunt was jailed for 13 years Photo: Sussex Police

A man from East Sussex has been jailed for 13 years for a total of 14 child sex offences including running a website showing the sexual abuse of a teenage girl.

47 year old Richard Hunt from Bexhill pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court to facilitating child pornography, possession and distribution of indecent images of children and money laundering.

"It is absolutely clear that there is truly significant risk posed by you to the public. These are the most repellent examples of degrading behaviour towards children that a judge could hope to see.”

– Paul Tain, Judge
Richard Hunt was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court Credit: PA

An investigation into a US suspect led by the Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team of Sussex Police led them to Hunt.

The police found that Hunt had exchanged indecent images of children with the US suspect leading to a search of his address in June 2012.

Hunt will not be considered for parole for at least eight years and will remain on the Sex Offender Register for life.

Hunt was also issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will severely restrict his access to children and the use of computers.

He will also be banned from travelling out of the UK for a period of five years following his release.

Credit: PA

"The forensic examination of his computer equipment and online accounts identified that Hunt possessed over 10,000 indecent images of children and was exchanging these with a large number of people online. He also engaged in extensive chat with others in which he encouraged them to sexually abuse and photograph children known to them.

"One of the abused children was identified by our team as a German national. It transpires that Hunt was instrumental in running a website dedicated to the horrific sexual abuse of this girl at the hands of a family friend there for some 10 years from the age of approximately 10. The website charged for images of the girl and Hunt managed the payment and administration of the site.

"Hunt initially refused to accept a number of the charges and so the German victim was faced with the fear of having to attend a foreign court to give evidence. Thankfully, he changed his plea on the first day of trial, avoiding her additional distress.

"This was a particularly challenging investigation and the outcome would not have been possible without assistance from other officers including Detective Constable Helen Curtis who was the original investigating officer and Sergeant Christine Holyoake who provided liaison with the German victim and German authorities.”

– Martin Harmer, Detective Constable