Lincolnshire child rapist jailed after carrying out decades of abuse

Christopher Manning was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, with a further four years on licence. Credit: National Crime Agency

A man from Lincolnshire who carried out the 'most horrific abuse against children' over 23 years has been jailed.

Christopher Manning was arrested at his home in Grantham after National Crime investigators caught him swapping indecent material online and encouraging others to sexually assault children.

In online chats, the 38-year-old stated that he was "into young children" and claimed to have sexually assaulted a four-year-old girl on several occasions, saying he wanted to video and watch the abuse back.

Mannings offending began, in 1998, when his first victim aged seven, woke to find him in her bed and raping her. The sexual abuse continued until she was aged 21.He also repeatedly raped and sexually abused a vulnerable boy for a decade, between 2004 when the child was seven and 2014, when Manning felt his victim had become too old to gain sexual gratification from.Manning also sexually abused a girl, aged 11, in 2007 and another girl, aged 14, in 2021 while alone with her in his car.

He used social media platforms like Snapchat to target his victims asking them to send naked pictures of themselves.

During months of investigations and interviews officers uncovered that Manning had raped and sexually assaulted young children over many years.

Manning had tried to cover his tracks and on examination on his mobile phones he was found to be using eight different VPNs (Virtual private networks) in an effort to conceal his searches for child abuse images. More than 100 pictures of young girls in their underwear were also found stored there.

Manning was charged with 21 counts of rape, sexual assault and indecent images of children offences.

Some of the victims gave evidence during Manning’s 11-day trial at Lincoln Crown Court in January this year, following which he was convicted of all counts.In impact statements read before the court, one victim said: “It has always been in the back of my mind since coming forward last year. Until then it had been buried. Even after the guilty verdicts it still doesn’t feel like it’s over.”Another said: “After all of the years of abuse it still affects me to this day. I have a fear of unknown men and I get scared when men approach me. I get flashbacks of the abuse and I also have nightmares. I sometimes struggle to communicate with men. I am scared to go out in the real world because you never know who is capable of such crime. I panic going out alone just in case something happens.”

Manning was sentenced to 25 years in prison, with a further four years on licence.David Levett, Senior Investigating Officer at the NCA, said: “This investigation uncovered that Christopher Manning inflicted the most horrific abuse against children over the course of many years.“The impact of his criminality is utterly devastating, yet many of his victims bravely gave evidence during the trial and helped to secure his conviction.“He is a prolific and dangerous sexual offender who poses a grave risk to the public. His sentence reflects the severity and totality of his offending.“The NCA is dedicated to identifying high harm criminals like Manning and ensuring they are brought to justice.”

When sentencing Manning, HHJ Sjolin Knight described his offending as “a campaign of rape” and said he was a “dangerous offender who posed a high risk to children”.

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