Huckle targeted orphanage in Bangalore

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 04 Jun 2016

Richard Huckle

PETALING JAYA: A pastor in India revealed how serial paedophile Richard Huckle targeted his orphanage in Bangalore when he received an email volunteering his services.

George Fernandes, 37, told The Daily Mail that Huckle enquired whether he could volunteer at the New Hope for Children Orphanage as he would be travelling to India.

Fernandes said he had accepted Huckle’s offer but at that time was unaware of the crimes that he was capable of.

He said he later realised that Huckle just wanted access to the children and was shocked to read what he had done.

In the email dated in June 2013, Huckle said he “is originally from UK but am studying an IT degree in Malaysia.”

He said he would be in India from July 19 to Aug 6 that year and he found Pastor George’s orphanage on Facebook.

Huckle, 30, explained that he visited India in January and met a pastor in Hubli where he made a short documentary for him.

He said it would “be a great experience for me to visit your orphanage, meet and help the children,” adding that he would be happy to use his photography and video editing skills to help the pastor.

Huckle had asked the pastor if he knew of a place to stay, “either with a local family or at a cheap hotel." He was offered a room at the pastor's house.

Fernandes said Huckle was never left alone and believed none of the children at the orphanage were abused during Huckle’s two-day stay.

He said “he seemed nice on email and we were excited to host him as we thought he was keen to serve the orphan children.”

Fernandes said he noticed that Huckle was unusually quiet, not speaking much or telling anything about his past.

He said Huckle was very different from other western volunteers in the past.

Huckle, however, had very good knowledge of photography and taught the orphanage many new things but he seemed disoriented and “won't look straight into our eyes ever during his short stay,” said Fernandes.

Fernandes said Huckle wrote to him after he left saying he was keen on returning and spend more time with them. He never did nor did he maintain any contact.

Huckle was caught at London’s Gatwick Airport in December 2014 while returning home for Christmas.

He has pleaded guilty to 71 counts of child sex offences, including raping babies and infants, in a London criminal court, while he was in Malaysia supposed working as an English teacher and photographer since 2009.

He was caught with more than 20,000 images of horrific child sex abuse and confessed to sexual attacks on an estimated 200 children, some of them toddlers.

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