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Paedophile ex-British Army lieutenant colonel, 70, who paid nearly £10,000 to watch Filipino mothers

A disgraced former senior Army officer was jailed today for asking mothers in the Philippines to sexually abuse their children in front of him on webcam.

Andrew Whiddett, 70, of Portsmouth, had served in the forces with distinction for 30 years and 'dedicated his life to the country' before moving into security in the Middle East - including working at the British Embassy in Baghdad.

But sentencing Whiddett to three years and two months behind bars, a judge told the former lieutenant colonel that he was going to jail despite 'exceptional testimonials' from former colleagues.

Judge Nicholas Ainley said: 'I have borne in mind and I'm well aware of the dedicated service to this country by the defendant. But children, wherever they are in the world, have to be protected from this kind of activity.

'This is a 70-year-old man who has been a dedicated and courageous man to this country, a devoted husband and father left bereft by being widowed a few years ago - and also somebody who has abused two young Filipino children.

'There is no getting around that particular fact. Children who are in danger have to be protected from those who would engage in any sexual activity with them and particular individuals have to be punished by way of imprisonment.'

Croydon Crown Court heard that Whiddett was brought to the attention of authorities after sending more than £9,000 to 'known facilitators' in the Philippines between February 2013 and June 2017.

Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA), Britain's equivalent to the FBI, seized his phone, iPad and laptop in October 2017 and unearthed 19 indecent images of children - as well as horrifying Skype chats detailing child abuse.

Andrew Whiddett, who was once chief of security at the British embassy in Iraq, leaves Croydon Crown Court in London on April 25 (left) and is pictured in a mugshot (right)

In a chat with a user called 'Honest Girl', a woman told Whiddett: 'She's nine years old, her birthday is tomorrow' and Whiddett made a crude comment about the child.

He then sent the woman just over £30 after messaging her a series of commands of how to abuse the child on November 21, 2015.

Whiddett, who has since married an Indonesian woman he met online, pleaded guilty to six charges before his trial was due to start.

The father-of-three was jailed for one count of intent to cause a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity relating to the chat with 'Honest Girl' in 2015.

He also admitted causing or inciting a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity in September 2016, arranging or facilitating a sexual offence against a child, and three counts of having indecent images of children.

Prosecutor Amanda Hamilton said: 'Between February 15, 2013 and June 29, 2017 Mr Whiddett sent over £9,000 to the Phillipines.

Read more from Daily Mail

My view: This is disgusting, he was asking mothers in the Philippines to sexually abuse their children in front of him on webcam. It's horrible how he used vulnerable and poor people for his evil actions.

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