January 2023

Grantham paedophile guilty of decades-long campaign of abuse

A paedophile is facing a lengthy prison sentence after being found guilty of sexually abusing children as young as seven over a 20 year period.

Christopher Manning, from Grantham, was convicted after trial of 21 charges, including rape, at Lincoln Crown Court.

Following the hearing, David Levett from the National Crime Agency (NCA) described him as a “dangerous sexual offender”.

Manning, 38, of Dalton Close, is due to be sentenced on 16 March.

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.

Further inquiries established Manning had raped and sexually assaulted young children over the course of many years.

His first victim described how she was seven when she awoke to find him assaulting her. The sexual abuse continued until she was 21.

He also repeatedly raped and sexually abused a vulnerable boy for a decade, between 2004, when the child was seven, and 2014.

Manning also sexually assaulted a girl, aged around 11, in 2007.

In July 2021 he attempted to groom a 13-year-old girl and then sexually assaulted her. The child told her parents.

Manning also encouraged girls to send him indecent images of themselves online.

Investigations found he had been installed several different pieces of software on his phone to conceal his searches for child abuse images.

Manning was convicted of rape, sexual assault and indecent images and was convicted after an 11-day trial at Lincoln Crown Court.

Following his conviction Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight ordered a pre-sentence report, asking for it to address the issue of dangerousness, telling the defendant: “I am concerned about the risk you pose to other people.”

Mr Levett 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.”