A National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation has seen a Lincolnshire man convicted of raping and sexually assaulting children as young as seven over a 20-year period.
Christopher Manning, 38, from Grantham, was arrested by NCA officers in February last year, with assistance from Lincolnshire Police, after he was identified as being involved in exchanging indecent images and encouraging the abuse of children online.
During online chats, Manning had stated that he was “into” young children, and claimed to have sexually assaulted a four-year-old girl on several occasions, saying he wanted to video and watch the abuse back.
Manning also asked an online contact to send videos of him sexually abusing seven and 11 year old children, saying he “…would love to video call and watch your action”.
Further NCA inquiries established that Manning had raped and sexually assaulted young children over the course of many years.
His first victim described how, in 1998 when aged seven, she woke to find him in her bed and raping her. The sexual abuse continued every other weekend until she was aged 21.
He also repeatedly raped and sexually abused a vulnerable boy for a decade, between 2004, when the child was seven, and 2014, when Manning felt his victim had become too old to gain sexual gratification from.
Manning also sexually assaulted a girl, aged approximately 11, in 2007 by touching her genitals.
In July 2021 he attempted to groom a 13-year-old girl and then proceeded to sexually assault her. The child informed her parents immediately of the crime.
He also sought opportunities to engage with girls under 15 on the internet, asking them to send naked indecent images of themselves via Snapchat.
Each of the victims gave evidence during Manning’s 11-day trial at Lincoln Crown Court.
Examination of a mobile phone belonging to Manning found that eight different VPNs (Virtual private networks) had been installed on it in an effort to conceal his searches for child abuse images.
Manning was charged with rape, sexual assault and indecent images of children offences. He was convicted by a jury today (20 January) and is due to be sentenced at the same court on 16 March.
David Levett, Senior Investigating Officer at the NCA, said: “Christopher Manning is a dangerous sexual offender who committed grave abuse against children over more than two decades and was targeting young girls online right up to the point of his arrest.
“Manning’s crimes left his innocent victims physically and emotionally traumatised, yet many of them bravely gave evidence during his trial. Their voices have been heard and they have helped to secure his conviction.
“The NCA works tirelessly to identify dangerous criminals like Manning, who pose the most serious risk to the UK public, and ensure they are brought to account.”
20 January 2022