Four paedophiles who wrote an advert on a toilet door on a train seeking young girls for sex have been given jail terms ranging from eight years to life.
The advert on a train toilet door was spotted by a newspaper reporter
Trevor Haddock, 55, of Worcester, John Farmer, 68, of Pevensey, Derek Moody, 43, of Gateshead, and Ian Jones, 43, of Worthing, all admitted sex offences.
Hove Crown Court heard how they had specifically sought to procure underage girls in a cash-for-sex plan.
They were caught after a reporter from West Sussex answered their advert.
Judge Anthony Niblett described the men as "morally abhorrent, wicked and harmful to those they abused".
He added: "Each of you is a paedophile who poses a continued danger to young children, specifically to young girls."
He said he was sentencing them to deter and protect vulnerable young children from their predatory activities.
A nationwide police inquiry found eight young girls, aged between seven and 13, had been subjected to "horrific" abuse.
Acting Det Ch Insp Jeff Lister, of Sussex Police, said the victims were all known to Haddock, and had not answered any of the adverts placed on trains.
"We have not identified any children who responded to the graffiti and were sexually abused," he said.
The men were caught after Ruth Lumley, 26, who worked on the Chichester Observer newspaper, noticed graffiti on a train toilet door.
It urged girls aged between eight and 13 to text a mobile phone number.
Posing as an 11-year-old girl, Miss Lumley replied to the advert and was sent a series of increasingly sexually explicit messages from a mobile phone.
She alerted police, which prompted a 10-month nationwide investigation conducted by police officers from the Sussex, West Mercia and Northumbria forces, alongside British Transport Police.
Sedatives and alcohol
Ringleader Haddock, of Ambleside, Worcester, admitted 14 offences including rape, attempted rape, conspiring to rape and sexual assault.
Hove Crown Court heard that he had charged up to £150 for other men to abuse a young girl he procured and also plied his victims with sedatives, alcohol, and cigarettes.
Judge Niblett sentenced him to six life sentences, and told him he would not be eligible for parole until after at least 12 years.
Jones, of Rowlands Road, Worthing, admitted conspiring to sexually assault, attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity and four counts of criminal damage with intent to commit a sexual offence.
The court heard he had previously served 42 months in jail for attempted rape. He received a life term, with a minimum tariff of 10 years.
Farmer, of Peelings Lane, Pevensey, East Sussex, admitted arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and was jailed for eight years.
Moody, formerly of Byron Court, Swalwell, Gateshead, admitted inciting to rape a young girl.
He was given a life term with a minimum of four years imprisonment.
Acting Det Ch Insp Lister said the sentences "reflected the serious and horrific nature" of the sexual offences committed.