A couple who subjected children to a decade of sex and drug abuse, including rape, have been jailed. Nicholas Taylor, convicted of 62 offences, and wife Joan, found guilty of 22, were “master manipulators”, police said. Nicholas, 47, was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 18 years and Joan, 43, was also given an 18-year term.

The crimes, between 1996 and 2006, involved boys and girls all aged under 16 and some as young as 11. Sentencing the couple from Northampton, the judge at Leicester Crown Court described Nicholas as “a monster”. As he was sentenced Nicholas gave a thumbs up and said “yeah, spot on” from the dock.

Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: “You caused children to become addicted to drugs and you used their bodies for your pleasure … You raped children. You are an intelligent man, but a monster … I see no good in you, I see no prospect of you changing.”

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