Pedophile priest caught sharing videos of sexually attacking infants
A pedophile priest has been jailed for raping children and babies and sharing videos of the attacks on chat rooms with other child abusers.
44-year-old Edmund Black is a former Catholic priest from a parish in Richmond, London, UK.
He was snared by investigators who caught him sharing graphic videos of child abuse on pedophile forums.
Black was part of a network of child abusers who shared videos of their attacks on the forums.
According to prosecutors, Black regularly hosted “child rape parties” in which pedophiles live-streamed attacks on children, with some as young as 3-months-old.
Black, real name Edmund Higgins, was formerly a Catholic priest but left the church when complaints of child abuse began to emerge.
Due to no longer being a practicing clergy member, Black was unable to take advantage of the Catholic Church’s protection for priests accused of child sex crimes.
Typically, clergy members are prosecuted under Canon law, meaning they escape regular prosecution and jail.
In this instance, however, Black was tried in a regular court and imprisoned.
Get West London reports: Edmund Black, 44, took part in 18 online chat room sessions between September 2015 and March 2018, where videos would be shared.
During a session he hosted in May 2016, a total of nine horrific sexual abuse videos of very young children were shown.
One of these videos was of a baby boy thought to be as young as three-months-old.
During the session, Black would comment that he had a sexual interest in babies.
Black had already had an earlier conviction in 2013 for possessing indecent images of children.
He was spared jail, given a suspended sentence instead of eight months imprisonment.
At the time he was known as Father Edmund Higgins and was a priest at St Elizabeth’s Church in Richmond.
When the National Crime Agency raided his address in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in January this year, they found a laptop with 201 child sexual abuse images that fell into the most severe category, Category A.
There were also 176 Category B, 461 category C, and 10 prohibited images.
While out on bail, Black decided to return to using the online conference rooms and continued to offend.
He was charged with two counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting the distribution of indecent images of children, and one count of making indecent images of children.
After pleading guilty to both charges, Black was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Monday (June 25) to 31 months in prison.
NCA senior investigating officer Martin Ludlow said:
“Every time these horrendous images are shared that child is victimized again and again.
“Black has shown no remorse for any previous offenses he has committed and even continued offending while on bail.
“He went out of his way to encourage others to view and share images.
“We and our partners in policing do everything possible to catch people like Black.
“Those who commit these appalling crimes will be found and brought to justice.”
The videos that he shared with others were known to the authorities, and the children have since been safeguarded.
No live abuse was shown in the court.