Reporter Bronagh Munro investigates the case of Richard Huckle, who was convicted of a large number of sexual offences against children in Malaysia.
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This programme contains some strong language and scenes which some viewers may find disturbing.
-This is Richard.
Just to let you know I'm still remanded in prison.
If you still want to keep in touch,
then, just send me a letter some time.
This is the story of how a teenage gap-year student
became one of Britain's worst ever paedophiles.
For nearly a decade, Richard Huckle raped, assaulted and abused
hundreds of children in Asia.
He was extremely dangerous. He was indiscriminate.
Girls, boys, six months to 13 years of age.
On the dark web, he wrote a manual for paedophiles,
and shared tens of thousands of vile images of his crimes.
I just thought of all the children, and it broke my heart
that I had been a part of putting him in that position.
Posing as a Christian, he deliberately targeted
the poorest and most vulnerable victims.
I can say, without any doubt, that the church was his hunting ground.
I've spent eight months investigating
how Huckle got away with it for so long,
and whether he should have been caught earlier.
I want to ask you why you didn't tell me
-about your relationship with Richard Huckle?
I've followed Huckle's trail
to countries where no-one has investigated before,
and uncovered undetected crimes.
When I stood in front of those two little girls,
it didn't feel good to be right.
It didn't feel good at all.
And I've discovered Huckle may also have abused children in Britain.
He was absolutely prolific.
I would be shocked if there were no victims of his in this country.
In 2005, a 19-year-old from suburban Kent
arrived at this jungle park in Malaysia.
For Richard Huckle, it was the start of his gap year.
This is just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I mean, this is what gap-year travel is all about.
It's such a privilege.
And to think that they could come here and work on a daily basis
Richard Huckle was part of a group of British students
who'd come to do voluntary work.
-Were they good workers?
-Yeah, they were good.
They had to clean the elephant poo.
It's not a pretty job!
The students came here to decide if they wanted to volunteer
in conservation projects like this one.
But Richard Huckle wasn't interested
in working with animals in the jungle.
He knew the kind of voluntary work he wanted to do,
in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur.
-This is where you used to bring the gappers?
-So, did you bring Huckle here?
-Yes, this is where Huckle came.
Ann Jones worked for World Challenge,
the organisation in charge of arranging Huckle's gap year.
I spent a lot of my time organising the placements
where they were going to.
He wanted to go to an orphanage,
but the orphanage that we had selected was unable to take them.
What was your first impression of Huckle?
I didn't like him.
There was just something about him that made
the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end,
and I couldn't put a finger on it.
He always looked dishevelled, he always looked dirty,
and he had just a really bad attitude.
I actually felt he was going to be trouble from the beginning,
and he was.
Ann placed Huckle and another student in a school.
His job was to help teach English to young children.
But, within weeks, Huckle was causing problems.
He had a blog that he was posting incredibly disrespectful remarks
about one of the other gap challengers.
He was making very disparaging remarks about World Challenge,
and he was none too kind about some of the locals either.
Ann found Huckle a new placement at a church.
Huckle had told everyone he was a committed Christian.
It seemed like the perfect fit.
They perceived him to be that little lost boy who needed to be nurtured
and, hopefully, their nurturing would change him
and give him the confidence to develop and grow.
It's really tough to find out anything about Huckle.
The police have had all his social media accounts pulled down,
but I've discovered Huckle also kept a diary.
And I've managed to get my hands on some of it.
In the diary, Huckle writes about his travels around Asia
and everyone he meets.
In October 2005, Huckle started work as a Sunday school teacher
at the church where he'd been placed.
He immediately began writing disturbing comments
about his new pupils in his diary.
He went into this church,
and I can say, without any doubt,
that the church was his hunting ground.
Mahi was the first local journalist
to investigate Huckle's time at this church.
He used the church, because those who turned up there
were very poor people.
When you are poor, it feels good when you are seen around
with a white guy.
It's almost like an up to your social status,
and that is exactly what Huckle capitalised on.
Huckle exploited his western status
to groom one particular three-year-old girl
who attended the church with her family.
So, this is actually the report that you were involved in.
Mahi recorded an interview with this girl many years later.
Her identity was disguised to protect her.
-'I met him in a church.
'He started talking to my mother there.'
-That's your voice.
-Yeah, that's my voice.
-'And then he started coming to the house to talk to her.'
-He started taking photos of me
from the time I was three years old.
He took videos of me naked. I was scared and couldn't do anything.
He showed me photos of myself.
They were photos that showed nude bodies, that kind of photos.
This child was raped repeatedly by Huckle.
Mahi says the girl told her family about Huckle's abuse.
She told me that she had actually told her father about it.
So her father knew?
Her father knew about it.
Now, her father told her to just shut up.
And her grandmother, when I confronted her,
just could not give me a straight answer.
So, this is a child who must have felt really betrayed.
My first question when I came to this country is,
could Huckle have been stopped?
Well, I've just found out
he definitely could have been stopped in his tracks,
if someone had listened to that child.
It's quite clear that that little child knew
what Huckle was doing was wrong...
..and so she told her family.
And when they did nothing...
..I just can't imagine how she must have felt.
Because where else would she go to for help,
if it wasn't to her family?
When Huckle realised he could groom children with impunity,
he stayed in Malaysia beyond his gap year.
He based himself in the capital,
and gained access to children
by working as an English teacher for schools, orphanages and families.
Huckle raped and assaulted children of all ages,
from babies to young teenagers.
He was a predator, constantly on the hunt.
One of Huckle's favourite hunting grounds was Port Dickson,
just outside the capital.
It's a perfect spot for families to get away from the city.
We know Huckle came to this beach resort regularly.
And, from his diary, we've learned that he had
a very particular grooming strategy.
He used to take photos of the kids that he met on the beach,
and then he would offer them the prints of the photos
to try and win their confidence and gain their trust.
Huckle gave free English tuition to these kids
and, in return, their parents offered him hospitality, meals,
and sometimes a bed for the night.
The entries in Huckle's diary do not explicitly reveal his crimes.
But, at the same time, he was posting graphic material anonymously
on the dark web.
On secret paedophile websites,
he uploaded thousands of photographs and videos
of the abuse he was committing.
He made sickening boasts about his crimes
to other paedophiles on the dark web.
Huckle was extraordinarily prolific on the dark web.
He recorded the names of nearly 200 of his victims there.
I want to know if any of his teaching colleagues
were ever suspicious about his behaviour.
-So, is that your Celta qualification?
-That's the bit of paper.
Awarded by the British Council, Kuala Lumpur,
and you passed.
Sam did an English language teaching course with Huckle in Malaysia.
This is Huckle in a film promoting the course at the time.
-Is that where you first met Richard, then, was he in your group?
The very first day I met him was the very first day of the course.
What was your first impression of Richard?
Quiet, mild-mannered, subdued, laid-back guy.
Sam remembers Huckle as a loner who didn't socialise.
He believed Huckle was motivated by a desire to help local children.
I only ever saw him with one child.
He brought the girl to me and my partner's place.
We hung out, we went to the pool, we had food together,
and then we went all the way back into the inner-city,
or the suburbs to get home and meet the mum and the home and everything.
So, for me it was quite natural, it felt OK,
because here's this guy going out of his way,
looking after this young kid.
The mum can't do it, she's working,
and I felt it was quite unselfish, you know, to take care of a child.
And it seemed normal, the rapport between them was fine,
there was nothing to me that was unsettling
or made me uncomfortable at all.
From the research that we've done,
it would look to me like that was one of Huckle's victims
that he sexually abused over a period of time.
How do you feel about that,
knowing that that child went through that, now?
Um. Sick, you know, really...
I'm sort of angry at myself that I didn't see this,
why didn't I know this?
But it just didn't appear that way at all. But it feels awful.
And I think, how could this happen?
You almost think like victims, say, "Oh, I'm a victim here,"
sort of thing. And it's just shocking, it's like you don't...
There's no signs of abuse because you don't see someone hurting.
Not only did Sam meet the victims, but he met the mother.
Huckle's totally ingratiated into the family.
I mean, how does a white Westerner ingratiate himself so much into a
family that he can just bring strangers in
and take their little girl out for, like, a whole day,
without having to be really accountable for it?
You know, to look Sam and other people in the eye every day,
and the mother of those kids,
and to know what you're actually physically doing,
and just to continue doing it, takes a real...
..takes a real, kind of, sick individual, to be honest.
Huckle also escaped detection by deliberately targeting some of
the most vulnerable children in Malaysia.
He used to take very poor children
on trips to rich parts of the capital, like this.
There's no way that the kids that Huckle brought here weren't impressed,
I'm impressed. I could stand and look at this all night.
On the dark web,
Huckle boasted about the lowly social status of his victims.
He said poor kids were easier to abuse than rich Western ones.
He moved into areas like this deliberately
to get access to poor kids.
Huckle exploited the reluctance
to report child sexual abuse in Malaysia.
People from the areas where he
operated are still not willing to talk about him.
I'm sure you rue the day
-that Richard Huckle walked into your village.
Eventually I managed to persuade one local politician to speak to me,
on condition we disguised his face.
Huckle abused children from his village for several years,
but he said he only heard about this when British police visited in 2016.
So, the UK police told you that there were specific families
in the village that had been affected, right?
Right. You went to those families?
What did you ask them?
Do you believe that?
That's my question to you.
I want you to tell me if you think
children in your village were abused.
Were they abused?
Have you done anything to change that belief?
Have you tried to change that belief,
to convince these people that it did happen and that they need to be more
careful in the future?
But you can.
What is more important, the protection of the community
or the help for the victims?
They're your children.
They're the next generation of your community.
That man represents a community that's in complete denial.
And what hope have the victims got
if the whole community won't accept that it happened?
There's children that Huckle abused that are not receiving one iota of
help because there's a community who refuse to accept it happened.
And that's the bottom line in this,
and that's just not good enough.
It's just not good enough.
The longer I spend here,
the easier it is to understand
how Huckle escaped being caught for so long.
But there's one man I especially want to ask about warning signs.
The pastor of the church where Huckle was a Sunday school teacher
for several years.
Huckle mentions him and his church repeatedly in his diary.
But the pastor has publicly
distanced himself from Huckle in the local press.
I've just met the pastor and spoken to him,
and he's played down
Huckle's connections to both him and the church.
He told me Huckle had never been at a Sunday School teacher at the church.
He'd never got access to the kids on his own,
and that nobody in the church and the congregation had any problem
with Huckle's behaviour around children.
It definitely feels a very affluent city.
Yeah. Very expensive.
I wanted to put the pastor's questionable claims to Ann,
the lady who organised Huckle's gap year and initially placed him in
the pastor's church.
I've spoken to the pastor in charge of the church,
and he told me that Huckle only
visited the church on a number of occasions. Is that true?
I don't believe that's true at all.
Why would you allow someone
who visits occasionally
to take your Sunday school students?
Why would you allow those children to be placed in the hands of someone
you didn't know?
Then, Ann makes a remarkable revelation.
Very soon after Huckle was placed there,
we had a complaint from a parent about Huckle smacking...
-He smacked them?
-I believe "He was smacking children",
was the phrase that was used,
and that he was also manhandling them out of the classroom,
physically removing them.
And he also was, I guess,
a little violent towards some of them.
For me in my head, that's a massive warning sign.
-So, what did you do?
-There was no way Huckle could continue.
I met with one of the elders, the pastor, and his wife.
Their request was that he be removed.
We set up a meeting, and Huckle was called into the meeting.
I asked him to leave the Gap Challenge programme
and to pack his bags,
and to remove himself from the area,
and to organise an immediate flight home to the UK.
Huckle's diary confirmed that he was fired from his job at the church and
removed from the gap year programme
very soon after arriving in Malaysia.
But the diary also reveals that, just one week later,
the church independently gave Huckle his job back.
So, Huckle was placed back with children?
Yes, he was. Huckle was placed in charge by the very people who had
asked me to remove him.
Who was in that room when you had the meeting to remove Huckle from
-One of the elders, and the pastor and his wife.
And who reinstated Huckle into the church?
That same elder, and that particular pastor and his wife.
How do you feel about that?
Incredibly angry, very upset,
and I, in many ways,
feel responsible for those children.
I do. And I can't not.
What more could you have done?
I don't know, but I wish I could think of something.
I've talked to that pastor.
He told me Huckle was a casual visitor to the church.
That's completely different to what Ann has just said.
Huckle was dismissed for smacking a child, and he never told me that.
You have to ask yourself why he's not telling me
the full truth.
Good morning, pastor, it's Bronagh Munro from the BBC.
Pastor, I was hoping to grab a conversation with you.
I know we spoke before, but there's been a few issues that have come up
that I'd like to chat to you about. I hope you'll give me a call.
I look forward to speaking to you. Thanks. Bye-bye.
I need to talk to him about some of the things he told me because we now
know them not to be accurate.
So, either he arranges the meeting, or we just have to go and find him.
The pastor messages me
to say he stands by everything he told me before.
It looks like he doesn't want to speak to me again.
I've just discovered there's a child protection conference on in
the city, and we've come down and they've allowed us to come inside
and have a look around.
This is where we have initial travelling sex offenders...
All the key characters that you'd want to speak to are here.
And one of the officials has just told me that they think the key
reason for this conference is Huckle.
I've been trying for months to interview the Malaysian police.
I want to ask them what could have been done to catch Huckle earlier.
We're making a film in and around
paedophilia and western offenders coming to countries like Malaysia.
And I wanted to ask you some questions about Richard Huckle,
and what happened...
Oh, that Richard Huckle case...
..not in this seminar.
I'm forbidden to answer that because I think it is better for you
to write into my department to ask about that.
I'm very, very sorry.
-It's not that I don't want to cooperate with you.
They're holding a whole conference here
about sexual offences in their country
and they won't talk to me about Richard Huckle.
He's probably one of the country's biggest sex offenders to date.
And it's still a taboo subject.
But then, among the dignitaries...
..I spot the one man I really want to speak to.
The pastor that was in charge of the church that Huckle worked in is now
standing talking to the unit
that deals with child sexual abuse in Malaysia.
This is the guy who won't talk to me.
I certainly have a few question for this guy.
Sir, how are you doing?
-How are you doing? You've met me before.
OK, OK, good, good.
Can I talk to you for a few minutes, sir?
I want to ask you why you didn't tell me about your relationship with
Would you like to tell me what the extent of your relationship with
Richard Huckle was?
And I would also like to ask you, sir,
you told me that Richard Huckle
didn't work in your church at the Sunday school.
Sir, that's not a reply.
I asked you questions.
Why did you not tell me that Richard Huckle taught in the Sunday school?
Sir, we've been told by the person who ran the Gap Year Challenge that
-Huckle was placed in your church as part of that challenge.
And... let me finish, pastor.
..and that Huckle was removed from his position in the church
and the Challenge because he smacked a child.
In fact, he smacked children.
You told me, when I spoke to you,
that you had never had any concerns
raised to you about Huckle's behaviour.
Pastor, did you take part in a meeting
where Huckle's future in your church was discussed?
Did that happen?
We've been told you were there.
Are you saying that that's not true?
You don't remember, or it didn't happen?
OK. Tell me why you didn't tell me the full extent of your relationship
You didn't think it was relevant to our film?
No, no, sorry, I don't accept that, actually.
It's not something that would slip your memory.
I find that hard to believe, sir.
Honestly, I don't know who's more rattled -
him or I. Because I didn't expect to bump into him like that.
And still I feel that he's almost afraid to admit that Huckle
was in his life.
And that's very sad when you're standing in a place like this,
where everybody is calling for transparency to help the victims.
Most of the Malaysian children Huckle abused have been left
without any counselling or help.
That's unlikely to change until people here come to terms
with the magnitude of his crimes.
But Huckle didn't only destroy lives in Malaysia.
He also travelled to Cambodia -
a notorious magnet for western sex tourists and paedophiles.
Wow. There's so many tiny, young girls.
I've come to the capital, Phnom Penh,
to investigate why it was so easy for Huckle to commit abuse here.
Have you partaken in a little bit of sex tourism?
Not too much? Just a little?
Don't touch the camera, now, that's rude, please.
Can I take this one? Can I take two?
Huckle was drawn to a city where vulnerable and poor children
are readily accessible.
You've been selling in the street ten years? What age did you start?
Huckle would also have known about a Cambodian custom called Homestays.
Backpackers and tourists on a budget
pay to sleep in the houses of locals.
In his diary, Huckle records staying with families.
When Huckle came here, he'd organised to stay
with a local family.
Half of his trip he spent with this family.
You get access to the family, you get access to the children.
I want to get a sense of how easy it would have been for Huckle
to groom his host's children.
Woo! Who's next?
Huckle wasn't put up in this village,
but it's typical of the kind of place western tourists stay.
I think not, just the family, but the whole of the village has come
into the yard to see who we are,
and I think just to have a look at us because we're so different.
Sarun charges tourists less than 4 a night to stay with her family.
-They sleep in this room?
It's very pretty. I like the colours!
I would take the one with the most pink.
Take the prettiest one.
Sarun's children normally sleep on the same floor as the guests,
and she sleeps downstairs.
Would it surprise you that a western man came to Cambodia and,
while he was visiting as a tourist,
he took advantage of local children?
This man, in particular, made the family like him,
in order to get access to the children.
Would that surprise you?
This woman had to sell all her land to pay her husband's medical bill.
And then, after that, she had to rely on people coming here,
to feed her family.
Until I mentioned it to her, it never even occurred to her
that someone could come into her family as a tourist,
and be there solely to take advantage of the kids,
and not just the hospitality.
Huckle ruthlessly exploited the innocence of Cambodian families.
When you read his diary, he says the little girl seemed quite frightened
As he continues on his trip, day four, day five,
he says he got to hold the little girl.
So, he was winning her over.
Huckle sexually assaulted this two-year-old girl,
and posted photographs of this on the dark web.
He easily slipped out of Cambodia,
and his abuse didn't come to light until years later.
But Huckle visited another country in Asia,
where no crime of his has ever been detected before.
I know Huckle came to India at least four times.
I can't see any sign of a British or Indian police investigation.
But I think there's a very real possibility
Huckle committed abuse here.
In India, Huckle played up his Christian faith to gain access
to orphanages run by churches.
I've tracked down the first one he targeted,
in a remote and rural part of the country.
The pastor in charge has never spoken publicly
about Huckle's time here.
Pastor Elisha regularly performs exorcisms.
The practice of expelling demons
from people who say they've become possessed.
In his diary, Huckle describes becoming possessed like this
when he was here.
So, what Huckle says is that he became possessed
while he was here with you.
Do you remember that?
When you felt something's not right,
what did you do?
Did you feel that there was some danger with having him here?
We have Huckle's diary, OK?
-We got a copy of Huckle's diary.
Huckle wrote in his diary that he confessed to you.
-And I wanted to know what that confession might have been.
I'm asking because he wrote, "Pastor came to the hotel,
"and I made a confession to him."
So, I wanted to ask you if you maybe remembered even talking to him
in the hotel?
What's most alarming about Huckle's diary entries here are his comments
about the children in the orphanage.
He talks about them in the same way
as children he is known to have abused in Malaysia and Cambodia.
He wrote, "I had a long cuddle with a little girl."
OK. Now, that little girl that he wrote that about,
he says came from this orphanage.
How do you feel, knowing that he might have done that
to a little girl here?
How did you feel when you found out about what Richard Huckle had done
to children? How did that make you feel?
This is a really taboo subject.
He was much more forthright than I ever expected him to be,
and he answered every question, and he didn't shy away from anything.
The only thing he didn't answer that I REALLY wanted an answer to,
was what did Huckle confess to?
Huckle travelled all across India.
And it wasn't only rural orphanages and churches
where he looked for children.
He also targeted slums in big cities.
Huckle never came here. But, on the dark web,
he boasted about how easy it was to groom children from poor communities
like this one.
May I look inside?
How many people live here?
Where do you sleep?
On the floor?
-That's the bathroom?
This is the bathroom.
Yeah? You tip it over.
You sleep here. You wash here.
One room does all.
This place smells.
It's crawling with flies.
It's really dirty.
But this is the kind of place that Huckle came
to look for children.
Huckle's diary makes several references
to one particular girl from a slum.
After tracking her and her family down,
I discover no-one has ever asked them about Huckle before.
To protect her and her sister, we are disguising their identities
and the area they're from.
I felt he was a nice man.
I thought he was helping me.
I thought he was good.
I liked him so much at that time.
This girl was ten years old when Huckle turned up in her slum.
He was 26, and had already been grooming children for years.
He showed me family photos.
He said it's Malaysia, that he was going there.
He asked me to go with him.
So, Huckle wanted you to come to Malaysia with him?
I said no, no, I wanted to be with Mum.
Then he told me to go with him, and that he would bring me up.
I said no. I was scared at that time.
Did you see Huckle do something that was wrong to your sister?
He was trying to lift her skirt with his foot.
My sister moved away.
Some kind of fear filled me.
I didn't expect that he would be like that.
I said, "Hey," and I told him off.
He smiled, and took his legs away.
Then I ran away from there.
But Huckle returned to the slum just a few days later.
Pretending that he was making a film about the residents,
he led the girl into a nearby church.
He made me sit in the chair.
He made me sit very close to him.
He started to look at me weirdly.
I felt something was wrong.
My heartbeat was racing.
I was scared. Immediately, I got up.
He came running behind me.
I hadn't noticed that he had locked the door.
I...I couldn't open it.
He came running behind me.
I managed to open the lock and ran away.
Huckle's diary does not suggest he offended in India on anything like
the same scale as he did in Malaysia.
But he made at least four visits here.
None of these have been investigated by the authorities.
When I read the diary,
I had a hunch that Huckle had committed the same type of offences
in India that he did in Malaysia.
And when I stood in front of those two little girls...
..it didn't feel good to be right.
It didn't feel good at all.
One of the first things I noticed, pastor, when I came through
the gate, was this security camera, and the barbed wire.
Were they here when Huckle came?
When Huckle came, they were already there.
I tracked down another pastor who hosted Huckle twice.
By the time Huckle visited this orphanage,
he'd been abusing children for seven years.
So, this was your first building?
Yeah, this was the first building that we did.
Pastor Gandhi says he ensured that Huckle was never left alone with
any of the children during his stay.
When Huckle came here, this is where the children were sleeping,
-is that right?
-Yes, this is the place.
But Huckle was not allowed to sleep with them.
-He is staying in a different room.
The pastor says he had a premonition about Huckle after he first met him.
I was laying on his bed,
and I started having some bad dreams.
And what was that telling you?
He started showing me some pictures, some naked pictures.
-It's not totally children but there are some other
-pictures, they are ugly.
Then I discerned there is something wrong going on here in this bedroom,
and with Huckle.
That happened overnight,
and you think there's something wrong with Huckle.
What did you do?
The very next morning, I asked him,
are you practising any pornographic practices?
And he simply said, "No, no, no, I don't have such problems,
"I don't have anything like that."
And then I said, "If you are practising any kind of sin,
"then you must renounce it and come to God."
During the nine years Huckle lived and travelled in Asia,
his behaviour on social media
did raise some suspicions back in the UK.
On Facebook, he posted vast numbers of pictures of himself with
the children he was meeting.
I contacted around 20 of Huckle's Facebook friends but only one agreed
to speak on camera.
He went to school with Huckle here in Kent.
In 2012, he challenged Huckle on Facebook about his posts.
But just before we're about to meet, even he gets cold feet.
"I've had some time to think about this
"and not really happy with going ahead.
"I'm a little wary of how this will be seen with the public,
"due to the sickening content from him,
"which is not something I want my name against."
He basically called Huckle out on the amount,
the sheer amount of kids photographs Huckle was posting on Facebook.
And basically accused him of being a paedophile.
According to this guy, Huckle was
really quick to come back and deny
and challenge him about the accusation
but it's really key because it was Huckle's contemporaries,
it was the people the same age as Huckle that kind of thought what he
was doing was a bit weird.
But Huckle only ever revealed his true character on the dark web.
He became increasingly reckless and arrogant about posting videos and
pictures of the crimes he was committing.
Huckle had become so consumed by the abuse that he turned it into a game
and started awarding himself paedo points for abusing the children.
He even set rules where he didn't allow himself to abuse the same
child in the same week in the same way.
The most serious offences, like rape, earned 15 points.
In the year up to November 2014,
Huckle managed to score over 1,300 points.
And he recorded all of this on something he called a paedo ledger.
It was at this point that Huckle's crimes finally caught up with him,
nine years after he'd left the UK on his gap year.
Australian police infiltrated a notorious dark website
and discovered that one of its most prolific users was British.
Police in the UK were alerted.
That internet usage enabled us to identify who he was and where he
was, and then our investigations started to proceed at a rapid rate
of knots at that stage. He was giving guidance to other paedophiles
about how to operate, so that was something completely new to us
and just reflected the depravity and the dangerous situations that
this individual was creating with very young children,
ranging from six months to about 13 years of age.
British police learned that Huckle was flying back from Malaysia to
the UK for Christmas.
On the 19th of December 2014, he was arrested at Gatwick Airport.
20,000 images of abuse were found on his computer,
and he was taken into custody.
During interview, Huckle refused to answer the questions
that we put to him. He showed no remorse whatsoever.
There's not one point in time that he's ever asked about the victims.
He's never asked about their welfare,
he's never asked about the impact.
After months of painstaking interrogation
of the pictures and videos
Huckle had posted on the dark web,
he was charged with 91 offences and abusing 23 children.
This is Richard, just to let you know I'm still remanded in prison.
If you still want to keep in touch, then just send me a letter sometime.
Huckle continued to believe he could escape punishment.
From his cell, he wrote to Pastor Gandhi in India,
the man he'd lied to previously about his crimes.
"Greetings to you and your family.
"For the past 12 months, I've been imprisoned, waiting for a trial,
"a trial that the British authorities want to pursue with me."
He's in Belmarsh.
"But I would like to assure you that I have done no harm or distress
"despite the serious charges the British authorities
"have put before me."
This letter is dated 27th of March 2016.
So, it's right before his trial.
So, there's no acceptance he's committed any offence.
"God bless you, Richard Huckle."
This guy is either seriously deluded
and completely off the scale
if he doesn't realise that he's done wrong.
Or he's deliberately underplaying
what he did to make sure he keeps Gandhi
as a friend, as a confidante.
But Huckle was fighting a losing battle.
British Police believed they could convict him without any of
the victims reliving the trauma of their abuse in court.
The photos and videos Huckle had posted on the dark web provided
all the evidence they needed.
He didn't record his offending in a way that he was obvious
in those videos.
We couldn't see his face but we could see clothing and
various other items that would lead us to identify him.
I think as the evidence unravelled and as the evidence was discovered,
then I think the penny began to drop and the weight of evidence was so
strong that he pleaded guilty.
A former Sunday School teacher,
considered to be one of Britain's most prolific paedophiles,
is facing a life sentence
for a catalogue of abuse against children in Malaysia.
Richard Huckle, who's 30 and from Ashford in Kent,
admitted more than 70 charges.
Huckle was convicted of abusing 23 children at his trial,
although the judge noted that the ledger where he recorded his crimes
on the dark web contained the names of 191 children.
But the true number of victims is likely to be even greater.
Huckle has refused to hand over the passwords to some of the hard drives
he stored images on and they remain locked.
His diary also reveals he spent time with kids from churches in Britain.
He's getting himself into churches, he's spending time with young kids.
He says he is teaching them and he is also talking his way into their
homes and having sleepovers with them.
He writes about dreaming about these kids and names them,
and he's talking about kissing them.
He was absolutely prolific.
We need to look at what went on in the UK at the times and places and
spaces that he occupied here in positions of trust.
Jim Gamble used to lead police
investigations into child abuse in the UK.
He believes Huckle's movements here
need to be investigated more extensively.
How likely is it that someone like Huckle offended here in
I would be shocked if there were no victims of his in this country.
So, the fact that his 200 victims, I would say, you know,
if you were to really focus on him and had the resources to focus in
depth on him for significant period of time, there would be more.
I would say that within the next 10-15 years other young people,
who are young now, who have been abused by Huckle, will come forward.
We know Huckle spent a significant
amount of time in a church here in London.
Have you approached that church?
Yeah, we are aware of two churches that he attended.
We've approached both of those churches and we've spoken to them,
and they've assured us that to the best of their knowledge that they
are not aware of any offending
or any suspicions that they had at the time.
I mean, is it enough for the church leaders to say they've asked and
there's been no abuse? Huckle spent overnight stays in some of the homes
of these churchgoers.
Should the NCA call themselves in to talk to these families?
I'm not aware of him staying with families.
But if there are any families, parents,
children that believe he has been engaged in any sexual activity with
children, then we would like to speak to them.
I would not support going and approaching victims direct.
But our responsibility is, as soon as they do come forward,
is then to provide them with the service they absolutely deserve,
which is support for them and then investigate the crimes that are
reported to us.
Richard Huckle was a wolf in sheep's clothing.
A ruthless predator who posed as a friend to the most poor,
innocent and vulnerable.
Lessons must be learned about how he was able to commit unspeakable
crimes in plain sight for nearly a decade.
For now, at least, Huckle's offending has been stopped
but we'll probably never know the full extent
of the devastation and pain he left behind.
Reporter Bronagh Munro investigates how a teenage gap year student became one of Britain's worst ever paedophiles.
In 2016, 30-year-old Richard Huckle was imprisoned after being convicted at the Old Bailey of abusing 23 children in Malaysia and Cambodia. Working as an English teacher and posing as a Christian, Huckle raped and sexually assaulted vulnerable and poor children of all ages. On the dark web, he shared tens of thousands of images of his crimes, boasted about them and even published a manual for paedophiles.
This film investigates how Huckle escaped detection for nearly a decade and reveals that he could have been stopped earlier. Following Huckle's trail to India, where his movements have not been investigated by the authorities, Munro uncovers potentially previously undetected crimes. The film asks whether Huckle also abused children in Britain and reveals that the true count of his victims is likely to number into the hundreds.