Skype paedophile has appeal against “harsh” 14-year jail term thrown out

Michael Eller
Michael Eller

A paedophile who “arranged for the rape and sexual assault” of girls as young as three – and took payments from a sick internet audience – has been told by top judges that his “severe” 14-year jail term was not a day too long.

Michael Francis Eller, 68, used a Skype link to “direct” adults in the Philippines to rape and abuse girls, aged from three to 12, on camera.

He took money through Paypal from twisted online perverts who wanted to view the children’s violation.

Eller, of Plover Close, Berkhamsted, was jailed for 14 years at St Alban’s Crown Court in December last year.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, breach of a sexual offences prevention order, possession of indecent photographs of a child, acquiring criminal property and breach of a community order.

Today his lawyers asked Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, Mr Justice Nicol and Mr Justice Lindblom, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, to reduce that sentence on appeal.

Eller, a married man, had been banned from private internet surfing and had security software installed on his computer, after being caught with child porn images in 2012. He was also hit with a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO).

Police inspecting information captured from his surfing history by the security software discovered that he was using Skype to direct a man and woman, based in the Philippines, to rape girls aged between 10 and 12 and sexually abuse girls as young as three.

He paid the adults on 78 occasions to carry out the abuse and acted as a middleman for a paedophile internet audience, taking payments from 30 people for viewing the sex acts.

Eller’s lawyers today nevertheless argued he had been treated “too harshly” by the courts.

But Mr Justice Lindblom disagreed, and dismissing his appeal, said: “He caused these children to undergo rape and degradation for his pleasure.

“They will go through their lives knowing the they had been abused for the pleasure of a paedophile and that abuse had been recorded. Arranging the rape of children for his pleasure was unspeakably vile, and doing it for profit was even worse.

“He arranged for the rape of very young children. The evidence against him was overwhelming. It may be that the sentence of 14 years was severe but it was not manifestly excessive.”