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‘Will trade’: sickening new detail of paedophile chat ring revealed

But his squeaky clean reputation came crashing down on 8 May 2020, when paedophile detectives found a shocking 277 videos of himself sexually assaulting seven children aged between five and eight on his phone.Now, he is about to learn his fate for the horrific assaults and child abuse material which spanned two-and-a-half years to mid-2020.Harden will be sentenced later today at Sydney’s Downing Centre Court for 179 offences, which he pleaded guilty to last July.In February, the court heard how Harden boasted to fellow paedophiles he assaulted a child while they were in hospital for surgery and admitted to giving them the sleep-inducing drug melatonin before abusing them at “sex parties”.In Downing Centre District Court today, many more disturbing details of his abuse and underground Snapchat sex trading ring have emerged.Many of the offences outlined are too graphic to detail, but those against just one child included 25 counts of sexual intercourse, eight counts of aggravated indecent assault and 24 counts of sexual touching.According to agreed facts, Harden would send videos of his abuse to other paedophiles under three different code names across various chat platforms, including Snapchat. There, he posted more than 100 advertisements asking to receive pedophilic videos and images.Under the name “Baddad03” he posted the advertisement:“28Pervy Dad Looking to Chat with Under 14, or if you’re with a little boy. Any perv dads, big bros, uncles, teachers, babysitters etc. Must be willing to show boy.”Another advertisement read: “Only add if you’re with a boy and will trade. Just prove it.”Harden recorded hundreds of his own assaults against children and sent dozens of them over chat platforms to other users, some up to 33 seconds in length and including more than one victim.Some of the assaults were broadcast live to the platforms and included commentary or text from Harden with words such as: “That’s his mate”.In return, other users sent him the most abhorrent footage imaginable of sexual torture against babies, toddles and children.The facts stated he asked one user if he had “f****d” his 14-year-old son, to which the user said “yes, but not very often”. Another user said to Harden: “You wanna buy nudes? I have a mega of 18gigabytes”.Harden’s victims told police in an interview he would shower and bath naked with them and get them to “wash and dry” his genitalia.The children said they would play video games naked and Harden would give rewards on the game in exchange for a range of sexual acts which they described in childlike language.One child told police that when they realised Harden had sex with adults, they said to him: “you said that was our secret”.One of the victims told police the “secret” started when they were aged four and Harden also let other men do things to them.Another child told police in one of the homes the abuse took place, the abuse always happened inside a wardrobe because “it was the only secret place”.Sometimes Harden would give the children “melatonin gummies” he bought online to make them drowsy before abusing them.Ahead of sentencing for the 179 offences which Harden committed between the ages of 27 and 30, Judge Huggett said he did not appear to use violence of force in his offending but that was “hardly a mitigating factor”.“Much of the abuse occurred while a child was asleep or occupied in some other way,” Judge Huggett said.“He would offend and reoffend as and when he desired for his own sexual gratification.”“Majority of the contact offences were captured in video recordings. The offender recorded and produced videos of all victims. But those that he produced were typically smaller in quantity and less serious in terms of what it depicted [compared to the videos he received].”Several family members of Harden’s victims were in court and became emotional as the graphic facts were read out, often bowing their heads in their hands.More to come.

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