Child rapist involved in paedophile ring which abused babies was a manager at a Manchester charity

Chris Knight worked at OutdoorLads, a social group for gay and bisexual men, for around five years until he was suspended when he was arrested.

Christopher Knight

 

A child rapist involved in a paedophile ring which sexually abused babies and toddlers was a manager at a well-known local charity, the M.E.N. can reveal.

Chris Knight worked at OutdoorLads, a social group for gay and bisexual men, for around five years until he was suspended when he was arrested in November last year.

The 35-year-old, from Wythenshawe, is to be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court in the coming weeks after he admitted his role in a worldwide paedophile ring which drugged and raped its young victims – all aged under five.

Members of the group frequently travelled long distances to carry out the attacks together – or live-streamed the abuse over the internet, often using the dark web, if only one of them had access to a child.

Knight has already pleaded guilty to one count of rape of a child under 13, two counts of conspiracy to rape a child under 13, two counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, and one count of taking, showing, or possessing indecent images of children.

Bosses at Outdoor Lads, based on Wilmslow Road, in Didsbury, today said they were ‘shocked and appalled’ by the crimes of Knight – who was the charity’s officer manager until his suspension.

A spokesman for the outdoor pursuits group said: “Chris Knight was an employee at OutdoorLads. As the organisation is for over-18s only, he did not require DBS checks.

“Mr Knight was arrested in November and he was immediately suspended from his post at OutdoorLads.

“We were deeply shocked and appalled to find out that he was involved in a crime such as this.

“We want to stress that Mr Knight’s crimes are totally unrelated to his work at OutdoorLads – and no-one else at the charity was implicated in connection with the police enquiry.”

Many of the online articles featuring Knight in his role at OutdoorLads have been removed from the internet since the beginning of the year.

The M.E.N. has however retrieved an interview with him from May 2011 which was on the Manchester Pride website before being taken down.

In it, he talks about how not-for-profit OutdoorLads organised activities such as camping, ice climbing and hill walking to help gay men build friendships and trusting relationships.

He added: “I’m looking forward to Manchester Pride this year as well as spending more time with my long suffering boyfriend who never complains when I dash off to some remote location or other.”

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The National Crime Agency (NCA), which led the investigation into the paedophile ring, said the group has ‘tentacles that go round the world’ and its members were ‘monsters in disguise’.

The gang’s attacks were seen across the globe and the NCA has passed intelligence on to international law enforcement agencies on every continent.

Officers discovered online chat logs where members of the group, who lived across the UK, would offer advice and guidance to others on drugging their young victims.

The gang also discussed how to stop their victims crying and joked about the potential of talking to undercover officers online.

The exchanges included references to ‘nep’, a shortening of ‘nepiophile’, a word used to describe those sexually attracted to babies and toddlers.

The NCA launched its investigation, Operation Voicer, last September after one of the gang contacted police and admitted he had abused a child.

Officers were then able to identify a number of offenders and three victims – a baby, a toddler and a pre-school age child. Investigators believe there are more victims, however.

The NCA described how the group was extremely skilled at grooming the families of the victims, including a mother and father before their baby was even born.

Knight and six other men have been convicted of a total of 30 child offences.

The other men are John Denham, formally known as Benjamin Harrop, 49, from Wiltshire, Matthew Stansfield, 34, from Hampshire, Adam Toms, 33, from Somerset, Robin Hollyson, 30, from Bedfordshire, David Harsley, 51, from Hull, and Matthew Lisk, 32, from East Sussex.

John

Qualified Private Investigator specialising in the investigation and conviction of online child predators.

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