Andrew Whiddett sentenced to 38 months behind bars

22 May 2019

 

A former lieutenant colonel in the British Army has been jailed for 38 months after spending thousands of pounds paying for and directing live-streamed child sexual abuse from the Philippines.

Andrew Whiddett, 70, also discussed flying to the country to commit contact child sexual abuse himself.

He admitted six charges at Croydon Crown Court and was jailed.

National Crime Agency senior investigating officer Gary Fennelly said: “Andrew Whiddett admitted live-streaming offences and making indecent images of children.

“He believed he could carry out those sickening offences from the comfort of his own home and get away with it.

“He was directly responsible for the most heinous abuse of children thousands of miles away from him.

“Live-streaming sex crimes exploits the vulnerable; he was helped in this case by facilitators whose motive is to make money.

“Live-streaming is a key threat to the UK, and one of the main forms of financially-driven offending, for which the Philippines remains a key hub.

“The NCA does important work with international law enforcement partners in the Philippines to combat these sorts of crimes.

“Anyone like Whiddett should realise that the NCA and UK police will never give up our pursuit of offenders who commit these horrific crimes.”

In conversations with one woman between September and October 2016, Whiddett made it clear he wanted to sexually abuse a child when he visited the Philippines that October.

In a 25-minute conversation with the woman on 28 September 2016 he asked if the girl will be with her and he said: “need to do more teaching” and “Look forward to touch”, “yes darling, need to open her mind” and “lots of teaching before I arrive”.

Travel records show he flew to Manila, Philippines, on 21 October 2016.

National Crime Agency investigators were able to prove that he paid this woman a total of £5,473.

He made 31 payments to her totalling £3,315 between January 2015 and January 2016.

And he made another 18 payments to her totalling £2,158 between April 2016 and July 2017.

Whiddett, who after leaving the Army was employed as a private contractor as head of security at the British Embassy in Baghdad, committed his offending after he retired from the Army and private security work.

Whiddett, of Portsmouth, Hampshire, committed the crimes with known Filipino child sex abuse facilitators over Skype from the privacy of his home – which is a main enabler of child sex abuse.

The NCA passed intelligence to Filipino counterparts who arrested one facilitator and safeguarded six children aged between three and 14.

NCA investigators were able to show that on 21 November 2015, Whiddett paid £31.41 to watch a nine-year-old girl abused.

Officers discovered other messages between Whiddett and abuse facilitators.

In one he said “nice pics” and another states “do you think I bad asking for them”.

He also asked: “If I visit would you let me see daughter” and “If I visit what you allow me to do”.

Whiddett paid a total of £158 for 11 indecent images.

Whiddett, who has no previous convictions, was arrested on 31 October 2017 at Heathrow Airport.

In interview he admitted sending 158 payments to the Philippines but claimed they were for live adult sex shows.

Whiddett was interviewed again in March 2018 and declined to answer any questions.