In the UK, three people, an incestuous brother and sister and their female accomplice, were recently arrested and thrown in jail for being involved in the “chronic sexual abuse” of children. Officers reportedly found the trio to be in possession of numerous pictures of kids being sexually abused after catching them trying to pick up a 14-year-old teenager for sex.
Specifically, Matthew Thatcher, a 26-year-old man living in Wales, his 18-year-old half-sister, Emily Thomson, who claimed to be so “blinded by infatuation” for her brother that she “did not view him as a relative,” and their accomplice, Mandy Wright, a 28-year-old woman, were all sentenced to prison earlier this week. According to reports, Thatcher, Thomson, and Wright repeatedly took photographs of themselves sexually assaulting three different children. In addition to the pictures, they also sent each other graphic messages about the abuse.
Authorities found out about the horrific acts they were engaged in after they caught Thatcher trying to meet up and have sex with a 14-year-old teen he had found on Facebook. Fortunately, when he went out to pick up the child, he was greeted instead by law enforcement officials. While in custody, the officers discovered the images, which led to the subsequent arrests of both Thomson and Wright.
Following their arrests, investigators launched an investigation to figure out just how bad the abuse really was and found that at least one of the victims showed signs of “chronic sexual abuse.” The abuse experienced by the children was apparently so bad that they were made to cry “like they could not breath.”
In court, Eleri Rees, the Recorder of Cardiff, spoke out against the cruelty displayed in the images and messages. Specifically, she said, “the images and messages showed a careless disregard for the welfare of the children.” Rees also criticized Thatcher directly. “He descended into the darkest of places. He discovered that he was capable of doing the most dreadful things,” she stated. “He was caught up in something that he found very difficult to get out of,” she continued, noting, “it was a dreadful thing that was taking place.”
As a consequence, Thatcher was charged with fifteen counts, including “rape and sexual assault of a child,” and sentenced to twenty-six years behind bars, Thomas was charged with sixteen offences, “including sexual assault and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity,” and given twelve years in jail, and Wright, who was found guilty of five charges, including “possessing images of child sex abuse,” received a seven-year-long prison sentence.
Shortly after the trio was sentenced to prison, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Thomas, from South Wales Police, told reporters, “today, Matthew Thatcher, Emily Thomson, and Mandy Wright have been given long and deserved sentences for what are abhorrent crimes which have had a devastating impact upon their victims.”
She added, “this case really is proof that reporting suspicions and concerns to the police, the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, or to organisations such as the NSPCC can help to put an immediate end to the suffering endured by our most vulnerable individuals, and ensure that those behind the abuse are put behind bars where they can no longer offend.”
Thomas also “publicly commended the bravery of the victims in this case,” who, according to her, “experienced things which nobody should have to endure” and claimed that the convictions of the three abusers will “in some way [help the victims] move forward with their lives.”
The abuse of children, sexual or otherwise, must not be tolerated. Hopefully, in addition to helping the victim’s move forward with their lives, the sentences given to Thatcher, Thomas, and Wright deter other people from subjecting children to similar abuse in the future.