Bernard Grace: former coach driver from Wythenshawe who paid to direct and livestream child sex abuse jailed

Bernard Grace has been jailed for eight years after his payments to watch child sex abuse were discovered by the National Crime Agency.
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A former coach driver from Manchester who made more than 600 payments to watch or direct child sex abuse online has been jailed following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Bernard Grace, from Wythenshawe, was jailed for eight years at Manchester Crown Court on Friday (12 May) after he admitting making a series of electronic money transfers to a woman in the Philippines.

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NCA investigators figured out that Grace, 72, had been paying people in the South East Asian country in exchange for being able to livestream footage of children being sexually abused.

After he was put behind bars the NCA said the material Grace had watched was “horrific and depraved”.

What did Bernard Grace do?

Grace was arrested in March 2021 after NCA investigators began looking into his online activities. A laptop was seized when his home was searched and enquiries into his financial affairs revealed he had sent payments totalling more than £20,000 to various women over a six-year period between January 2015 and March 2021.

The laptop was forensically examined and 23 Skype chats between Grace and Filipino women were found where he offered to make, or had made, payments. These included a payment to a woman under investigation in the Philippines for sex trafficking offences. When interviewed, Grace admitted making the payments.

Bernard GraceBernard Grace
Bernard Grace
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Grace was charged with 11 counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and two counts of making an indecent image of a child and pleaded guilty to the catalogue of charges in court.

When he returned to the dock for sentencing he was given an eight-year spell in prison, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

What did the NCA say about the jailing of Bernard Grace?

NCA operations manager Graham Clare said: “Bernard Grace was an unrelenting offender, whose actions led to several children being abused in the most horrific and depraved manner for his own sexual gratification.

“He may have thought he’d avoid detection by arranging for abuse to take place against vulnerable children on the other side of the globe, but the NCA has the capabilities to investigate online and internationally.

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“We work with overseas partners to tackle the abhorrent abuse of children, and actively target offenders who pay for it to be live streamed. There is no bigger priority for us than protecting children, wherever they may be.”

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