Richard Huckle: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A man who has been described as Britain’s worst pedophile is facing multiple life sentences in a three-day trial that began on Wednesday.

Huckle taught children in Cambodia and Malaysia, specifically focusing on English and Bible studies, and it appears that he presented himself as a rather trustworthy person. In fact, according to BuzzFeed, he even appeared in a promotional video for the British Council in Malaysia. He has been working with kids since 2007, when he began a teaching post in Malaysia’s capitol, Kuala Lumpur.

Here’s everything you need to know about Richard Huckle.


1. He Is Believed to Have Raped Up to 200 Children

Richard Huckle has admitted to raping and sexually abusing at least 22 children, whose ages range from six months old to 12 years old, according to BBC News. These kids were mainly from poor communities in Malaysia, where he moved in 2010.

However, it is thought that Huckle abused up to 200 children over the years. He began the criminal activity when he was 19-years-old.

In a post Huckle published on the Dark Web, he wrote “Impoverished kids are definitely much easier to seduce than middle class kids.” James Traynor of the National Crime Agency told Sky News that Huckle groomed children so that he was certain they would not tell their parents no matter what he did to them.


2. He Wrote a Pedophile Manual

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Police found on Huckle’s computer a document entitled “Paedophiles And Poverty: Child Lover Guide,” a series of detailed notes in which he instructed readers on how to abuse children and detailed many of his acts of sexual assault. Police say this manual was intended to be published on the Dark Web.

Many of his graphic material did make its way onto the Dark Web, though. According to BuzzFeed, Huckle would frequently use this encrypted part of the Internet to sell pictures of his victims in exchange for Bitcoins.

Police found over 20,000 graphic pictures on his computer.


3. Investigators Tracked Him Down by Posing as a Convicted Pedophile

One website Huckle was known to use was called Love Zone, an encrypted network of pedophiles on the Dark Web that was protected by passwords and where users were anonymous. Members of Love Zone were required to post incredibly graphic material involving the abuse of babies to remain on the website.

In an attempt to track down the man who ran the criminal network, Australia’s Task Force Argos made note of the fact that the administrator always used the greeting “hiyas” in posts. They crawled through thousands of chatrooms and forums before coming across a Facebook page, on which a man used the same greeting, BBC News reports.

Unfortunately, the Facebook page did not have a name attached to it, but it included a photo of a vehicle officers were able to track to the home of Shannon McCoole, the man who had been running Love Zone. After arresting McCoole, police actually took over running the website for him in an attempt to find other users. This is how they were able to uncover the identity of Richard Huckle, who was arrested in 2014.


4. He Took Donations Online for His Abuse

Huckle did not just put graphic images of his crimes online, though. He also took donations from users on the Dark Web using a website called “PedoFunding.”

Users who donated to Huckle were given access to videos of him raping his victims. For his depraved crimes, Huckle set up an internal system of “PedoPoints” that he would tally up after each instance of abuse.

Huckle wrote that he “would love to make a small income off selling child porn.”


5. He Faces 22 Life Sentences

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Huckle is facing 93 charges of child abuse, and he has admitted to 71 of the charges, according to BBC News.

On Wednesday, it took over an hour to read the full list of Huckle’s charges. His three-day hearing will conclude on Friday, but the man is told to expect up to 22 life sentences.

Judge Peter Rook QC described the charges as “sexual offending of the utmost gravity.” A spokesman for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said this case highlights the urgent need to crack down on illegal material being transmitted over the Dark Web.