LONDON (Reuters) – One of Britain’s most prolific child sex offenders, Richard Huckle, has died three years into a life sentence for abusing Malaysian and Cambodian children, Britain’s Ministry of Justice said on Monday, with media saying he had been stabbed to death.
Huckle, 33, who abused children and babies during a nine year period, was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to 71 offences.
Dubbed the country’s worst paedophile by Britain’s media, he was found stabbed to death in prison on Sunday after being attacked with a makeshift knife, the BBC reported.
“HMP Full Sutton prisoner Richard Huckle died on 13 October,” a prison service spokesman said, referring to the high-security jail where Huckle was being held.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further while a police investigation is ongoing.”
Using the pretext of being a photographer, English teacher and western philanthropist, Huckle won the trust of impoverished families before carrying out the abuse.
Huckle’s crimes included rapes which he filmed, photographed and shared online with paedophiles worldwide. He may have targeted almost 200 children and boasted that those from poor communities made easier victims than well-to-do westerners.
He received 22 life sentences for his crimes and told he must serve at least 25 years behind bars.
Huckle is one of the most prolific child sex abusers known to have operated in Malaysia, where the authorities have been criticised for failing to tackle sex crimes against children properly.
He also produced his own online paedophile manual advising others on how to abuse children and escape detection, described by trial judge Peter Rook as a “truly evil document”.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Alex Richardson)