A pedophile Catholic priest has been jailed for raping children and sharing videos of sexual attacks on children with other abusers on internet forums.
Edmund Black, a former Catholic priest from a parish in London, England, also continued viewing and distributing child pornography after he had been arrested and released on bail, according to police.
Black was arrested again after investigators caught him sharing violent and disturbing videos of child sexual abuse on pedophile forums.
According to prosecutors, the former priest was a member of a pedophile gang who hosted “live rape parties” and streamed their attacks on children. Some were as young as 3-months-old.
Black, real name Edmund Higgins, cut ties with the Catholic Church after he was charged with the offenses, meaning he was unable to take advantage of Pope Francis’ protection for pedophile priests.
Pope Francis has been reducing penalties for pedophile priests, unveiling a “prayers not prison” punishment scheme for child abusers within the Catholic church.
The liberal pope claims to be applying his vision of a “merciful church” to pedophile priests by reducing punishments to lighter sentences, in some cases “a lifetime of prayer“.
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, instead being given a suspended sentence 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 victimised again and again.
“Black has shown no remorse for any previous offences 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.