Briton jailed for 27 years in US cannibal case

Geoffrey Portway
Image caption Portway was sentenced to 26 years and eight months

A Briton living in the US has been jailed for almost 27 years for plotting to kidnap, rape, kill and eat a child.

Geoffrey Portway's home in Massachusetts was found equipped with a steel cage and a home-made coffin in a raid by US authorities last year.

The 40-year-old had spent months discussing the kidnap and murder online with an American, Michael Arnett.

Portway pleaded guilty to soliciting the kidnap of a child and distribution and possession of child pornography.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 26 years and eight months in prison.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Portway had to be sentenced to serve a period of between 216 and 327 months before being deported to the UK.

Image caption Agents found a dungeon in the basement of Portway's home

Detectives said Portway used programmes such as Skype to communicate with Arnett over several months, asking him for help with the kidnap.

Police said records of the conversations revealed the two men discussed real children - by name and photo - whom Arnett claimed to know and have access to.

According to US court documents, Portway had solicited several people for help in obtaining a child, including Arnett.

Police believe he began making inquiries from at least 2010 and was informed that Arnett had previously helped others with such requests and had "experience" with the abduction and sexual abuse of children.

During last year's raid, federal agents found a locked door in Portway's basement, which led to a second door that opened into a dungeon.

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Media captionDigital detective reveals how almost every crime leaves a digital trace

Various computers and digital devices containing Portway's child pornography collection were seized during that raid.

A forensic examination of the material revealed more than 4,500 pieces of child pornography traded with others online - including images and videos which appeared to depict dead children and cannibalism.

Portway, who was born in Spain, possessed more than 20,000 images and videos of children being abused.