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Man given nine life sentences for leading paedophile ring on Grindr

Five other men were arrested and sentenced in connection

2017-12-22

A man was given nine life sentences this week for leading a paedophilia ring on Grindr and other apps. 

Michael Emerton, 33, from Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire admitted to 20 offenses earlier this year which include four counts of rape of a child and three of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. 

During his trial, Emerton told the Luton Crown Court that he arranged live streams of child abuse and met with other men to have sex in front of children. 

According to the BBC, Emerton went by the name Ginger Beak on Grindr and other websites and apps such as Skype and TruNude. 

(Top row) Simon Wintle, Michael Emerton, Robert Lindsay and (Bottom row) Thomas Perry, Paul Stevens, Matthew Webby

Police seized the 33-year-old man's computer and arrested him in November 2016 before he received seven life sentences in March, and an additional two on Wednesday (December 20).

Judge Michael Kay QC said Emerton had caused psychological trauma to the children who will now face a "lifetime of difficulties". 

He also said that the case was "so shocking" that it "undermines one's faith in humanity". 

"Never before have I read a police summary of a case which begins with a warning that the reader should be very wary of the content due to the abhorrent nature of the offering."

Meanwhile, a further five men were arrested in connection to Emerton and sentenced on Wednesday.

Paul Stevens, 54, from St Albans was sentenced to 10 years for conspiracy to rape a child under 13 and conspiracy to commit sexual activity with a child under 13. 

30-year-old Matthew Webby from Hemel Hempstead received nine years after he admitted to two counts of sexual activity with a child, conspiracy to rape a child, conspiracy to commit sexual activity with a child and possession of indecent images of children. 

Robert Lindsay from Hertfordshire was sentenced to five years and three months for conspiracy to rape a child along with conspiracy to commit sexual activity with a child, making indecent images of a child and causing or inciting the child sexual exploitation of a 17-year-old. 

Simon Wintle, also from Hemel Hempstead, was sentenced to two years and six months. The 44-year-old was found guilty of sexual activity in the presence of a child and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child. 

David Overall, also 44, from Stevenage received two years for distributing and downloading indecent photographs of children. 

A sixth man named Thomas Perry, 28, is expected to be sentenced next month. He was found guilty of conspiracy to rape a child under the age of 14 as well as conspiracy to commit sexual activity with a child under 13 and causing a child to watch a sexual act.