Paedophile ring sentenced in Germany

image copyrightAFPimage caption"Basically, you should never be released," the judge told Adrian V

A court in Germany has found members of a paedophile ring guilty of multiple counts of child abuse.

The main defendant, a 28-year-old man identified as Adrian V, will spend 14 years in prison.

Three other men received terms of between 10 and 12 years, while Adrian V's mother was sentenced to five years for aiding and abetting the abuse.

The judge in the case described the actions of the group as "horrific" and "deeply disturbing".

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Among the allegations the men faced was that they drugged a group of boys and kept them in a building in a garden in Münster over a number of days. They then uploaded the footage to the dark web, according to German media.

One of the victims of Adrian V's abuse was his partner's son, now aged 11.

Adrian V was found guilty of 29 counts of abuse. He will be kept in preventative detention after his sentence is complete due to the risk of reoffending.

He is believed to have met the other defendants, who are from other parts of Germany and are aged between 31 and 43, online.

Presiding judge Matthias Pheiler said the trial "clearly showed how paedophiles operate: they trick, they lie, they manipulate those around" the victims. He also expressed his relief that the victims did not have to testify during the trial.

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the offences took place, has been rocked by a number of recent scandals, including the abuse of hundreds of children by several men at a campsite.

Germany's Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht announced plans to increase sentences for those convicted of child abuse last month.

The decision comes a year after German officials announced they were investigating 30,000 suspects in connection with an online paedophile network.

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