A serial rapist whose victims were as young as seven-years-old has been jailed for 25 years. Christopher Manning, 38, from Grantham, went on ‘a campaign of rape’ over a 23 year period.
One of his victims was only seven-years-old when, in 1998, she woke to find Manning in her bed raping her. The sexual abuse continued, taking place regularly until she was 21-years-old.
The serial paedophile also repeatedly raped and sexually abused a vulnerable boy for a decade, between 2004 – when the child was seven-years-old – and 2014, when Manning felt his victim had become too old to gain sexual gratification from. Manning also sexually assaulted a girl, aged approximately 11-years-old in 2007 and another girl, 14, in 2021 while alone with her in his car.
A National Crime Agency investigation discovered that Manning used an encrypted chat platform to exchange indecent material with others and encouraged them to sexually abuse children. During online chats, he stated that he was “into” young children and claimed to have sexually assaulted a four-year-old girl on several occasions, saying he wanted to video and watch the abuse back.
Manning also begged an online contact to send videos of him sexually abusing seven and 11-year-old children. He was arrested by NCA officers, supported by Lincolnshire Police, at his home in Grantham in February last year.
He also sought opportunities to engage with girls under 15-years-old on the internet, asking them to send naked images of themselves via Snapchat. He had over 100 images of young girls in their underwear stored on there.
Manning was charged with 21 counts of rape, sexual assault and indecent images of children offences. His victims spoke out at Lincoln Crown Court, with one saying: “It has always been in the back of my mind since coming forward last year.
“Until then it had been buried. Even after the guilty verdicts it still doesn’t feel like it’s over.”
Another said: “After all of the years of abuse it still affects me to this day. I have a fear of unknown men and I get scared when men approach me.
“I get flashbacks of the abuse and I also have nightmares. I sometimes struggle to communicate with men.
“I am scared to go out in the real world because you never know who is capable of such crime. I panic going out alone just in case something happens.”
Another victim said: “I don’t remember my childhood before the abuse. I know that I had problems sleeping and still do.
“At 13 I turned to taking drugs to try and forget, to cope and get over what was happening. I am very anxious especially when I go out and there’s lots of people.
“I don’t trust anyone apart from my partner, my nan and my grandad. I don’t leave my children with anyone apart from the three same people.” Manning was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, with a further four years on licence, at Lincoln Crown Court on Thursday, March 16.
David Levett, senior investigating officer at the NCA, said: “This investigation uncovered that Christopher Manning inflicted the most horrific abuse against children over the course of many years. The impact of his criminality is utterly devastating, yet many of his victims bravely gave evidence during the trial and helped to secure his conviction.
“He is a prolific and dangerous sexual offender who poses a grave risk to the public. His sentence reflects the severity and totality of his offending.
“The NCA is dedicated to identifying high harm criminals like Manning and ensuring they are brought to justice.” When sentencing Manning, HHJ Caterina Sjolin Knight described his offending as “a campaign of rape” and said he was a “dangerous offender who posed a high risk to children.”