Police were stunned at the scale and depravity of the paedophile gang run by seven British men.
The gang broadcast live online video of their abuse of babies and toddlers that was seen on every continent.
Branded ‘monsters in disguise’, the gang also preyed on families and in one case groomed a mother and father before their baby was born.
Their activity can be reported for first time following a trial involving two of them, John Denham and Matthew Stansfield, who both ended up with convictions.
The BBC reports:
John Denham, 49, and Matthew Stansfield, 34, had denied plotting sex crimes against the victims.
They were found guilty after a trial at Bristol Crown Court. Five other members had earlier admitted various offences.
The group used the internet to plan and stream abuse and tried to groom pregnant women in order to find new victims, the trial heard.
In one case, they groomed a mother and father before their child was born.
Officers from the National Crime Agency, which led the investigation, said the crimes were the most “vile and depraved” it had ever investigated.
Earlier, a jury convicted former actor Denham, 49, from Wiltshire – previously known as Benjamin Harrop – of conspiracy to sexually assault a child under 13.
Stansfield, 34, from Hampshire, was found guilty of conspiracy to rape a child under 13. Denham was cleared of the same charge.
Five others pleaded guilty to offences including rape of a child and conspiracy to rape at an earlier hearing. They are:
Robin Hollyson, 30, from Bedfordshire
Christopher Knight, 35, from Manchester
David Harsley, 51, from Hull
Matthew Lisk, 32, from East Sussex
Adam Toms, 33, from Somerset
A date is yet to be set for their sentencing.
The investigation identified three victims – a baby, a toddler and a young child – who were raped and assaulted by the men who had gained the trust of unsuspecting parents.
They met online and were prepared to drive for hours to carry out abuse when an opportunity became available, police said.
The gang also discussed the drugging of children and used video conferencing websites to broadcast the abuse to fellow members.
Police believe there were other victims, and have put measures in place to protect another 21 children found to be at risk.
Despite the men’s efforts to destroy evidence, police were able to retrieve webchats where the gang discussed their plans, with comments such as “I’m really in to v.v. young”, and “sicker the better”.
Material which could lead to the arrest of other paedophiles has been sent on to police forces on five continents.
Prosecutor Robert Davies told the jury in the Denham and Stansfield trial: “This prosecution will take you into a world you wished did not exist.
“The evidence exposes the shocking interest a group of men had in sexually abusing babies, toddlers or pre-school children.