This was posted on a McCann blog. I imagine the McCanns and their 'devout catholicism' played on a lot of peoples minds at the time and having IVF babies. The parents doing a bunk the moment they were made arguidos...the arguida-ess maybe reminded them of this character. Who knows......
From The Times
September 14, 2007
The elegant businesswoman and her middle-class paedophile ring
Monica McCanch presented a well-dressed face of confident respectability to the world. She worked for Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company, in Kent before taking redundancy last year for a new life in Jamaica, where she planned to invest in eco-tourism.
She told friends that she was making a fresh start after the break-up of her 29-year marriage to Norman McCanch, a well-regarded naturalist. But she was also trying to leave behind the disturbing secret of her involvement in a paedophile ring that subjected a number of children to repeated abuse and posted videos of their torment on the internet.
Yesterday the past caught up with McCanch, 55, when she pleaded guilty to four offences of sexual activity with a child and one of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. She stood, head bowed, at Maidstone Crown Court, as Judge Jeremy Carey told her that her crimes were grave and jailed her for six years.
Gone were the smart clothes, hair dye and make-up. McCanch was silver-grey and, with her gold-rimmed glasses, seemed almost grandmotherly in appearance. McCanch had returned voluntarily to Britain to admit her part in the offences. A professed Christian, her Bible has been her constant companion during ten months in custody on remand. When she was arrested at Heathrow last November, five suicide letters were found in her luggage. In a letter to the court she wrote: “I will carry this to my grave.”
Also in the dock were Archibald Wood, her former lover, and Steven Horton, the man who had provided two children, aged 12 and 13, for the trio to subject to what police say was “horrific abuse” over a six-hour period one afternoon in June 2005.
Wood, 60, is an Oxford law graduate who spent 19 years in the Army, serving in the Falklands and Northern Ireland, before working for the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall.
He had had a long sexual relationship with McCanch, unknown to her husband, which involved group-sex parties and pornography.
At the time of his arrest last year, he was chairman of the board of governors at Tavistock Community College in Devon — a post that required him to have child protection training — and a governor of a primary school. He admitted nine offences, including arranging child sex abuse and distributing indecent images of children, and asked for seventeen others to be taken into consideration. He was jailed for six years.
Horton, 44, from Sittingbourne, Kent, is a father who worked as a warehouse supervisor and was a regular on his local golf course and an enthusiastic five-a-side footballer. He admitted 28 offences ranging from child rape, sexual assault and arranging the commission of child sex offences to distributing indecent images. The judge imposed an indeterminate sentence on him and said he would serve 5½years before being considered for parole.
Afterwards Detective Superintendent David Shipley, of the Kent Police public protection crime unit, said: “The public perception of the paedophile is the dirty old man in a mac with big round glasses and living at home with his mother. These offenders were seemingly respectable, professional people. You wouldn’t look at them twice if you walked past them in the street.”
Horton was the starting point for Operation Starlight, which is still unearthing new offenders and is seeing its reach spread around the world. Six children living in Britain have been rescued from abusive situations, but images of their ordeals have been distributed through paedophile chat rooms and newsgroups, prompting criminal investigations as far afield as Slovenia and Venezuela.
The Kent police investigation followed an electronic evidence trail from Horton’s computer to that of Vincent Jordan, from Worsley, Manchester. Jordan, 47, lived an outwardly respectable life as a father of two small daughters with a job as an IT consultant. But late at night, when his wife and children were asleep, Jordan logged on to a chatroom called Taboo Incest and became the puppetmaster of a network of paedophiles who abused children in accordance with his detailed instructions.
Online, he posed as a woman who was prepared to offer her own children for sex if his chat-room contacts could prove through deeds and pictures that they were genuine abusers. To please Jordan — who will be sentenced next month after admitting 20 offences — paedophiles across Britain sent pictures and videos of their sadistic assaults which he compiled in a private library.
Horton became one of the puppets, regularly arranging the sexual abuse of three children at Jordan’s behest. His activity was eventually discovered when his partner stumbled upon e-mails between him and Jordan arranging a liaison to abuse children and the investigation began.
Fantasy to reality
The internet is acting as a spur for people with a sexual interest in children to become actual abusers, police officers in Operation Starlight said last night.
Archibald Wood, one of those jailed at Maidstone Crown Court, moved rapidly from viewing child abuse images to indulging in fantasies in paedophile chatrooms and then became actively involved in abusing children.
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Fotheringham, of Kent Police, said: “There must be a correlation between viewing images and moving on to abuse. I have no doubt that the research in ten years’ time will prove that.”
Prosecutors want conditions imposed on Wood banning him from accessing the internet after his release from jail. Mr Fotheringham said that the internet could not be blamed for creating paedophile crime, but it seemed to lead to an escalation in offending and an acceleration of the rate at which some people moved from having a deviant interest to becoming abusers.