Inside depraved rapists filthy home where 'malnourished' woman was found by cops

-Credit: (Image: GMP)
-Credit: (Image: GMP)

A dirty mattress sprawls across the floor of a living room with garish purple walls. Pillows are scattered haphazardly, and litter surrounds the makeshift bed. A duvet lies in a heap at the foot of an armchair. Earlier, a terrified, malnourished, and pale woman was found hiding under the lurid bedcovers.

This is the home of a depraved rapist who took advantage of vulnerable sex workers during the pandemic and is described as one of the worst cases hardened detectives have ever come across in their careers.

Nicholas Moxham, 52, 'recruited' women as sex workers and filmed his vile attacks using secret cameras hidden in pens. Some of his victims were unconscious when he assaulted them. Officers initially arrested him on suspicion of voyeurism at his home in Stockport, unaware of the extent of depravity they would uncover.

Following a trial at Manchester Crown Court, Moxham was convicted of a string of offenses, including rape, controlling prostitution for gain, requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labor, and voyeurism. He faces a lengthy sentence next month.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Detective Sergeant Lee Attenborough revealed more details about the harrowing case and the ordeals of the women Moxham exploited.

Police were first tipped off about Moxham by his neighbours. There were concerns about his behaviour and the comings and goings of numerous women. Agencies including Manchester Action for Street Health had also had reports from sex workers about their unease with a man they knew as 'Nick'.

Nicholas Moxham was found guilty after a five-week trial

"They were not happy about how he presented and how he was interacting with the women," DS Attenborough said. "Joining those together was really the start of the investigation. We didn't know how large it was going to become."

At that point, officers had been informed that Moxham had been caught covertly filming people. This information was enough to secure a search warrant for his home. Inside the filthy front room of the Heaton Chapel residence, they discovered a terrified, emaciated woman hidden under a duvet. She was immediately taken to receive support from specialist officers while detectives searched Moxham's home.

Earlier, as the police arrived, Moxham desperately threw a hard drive out of his bedroom window in an attempt to dispose of evidence. Despite this, officers found numerous storage devices and spy-hole cameras. "It took us several months to sift through and examine," DS Attenborough explained. "The content of his devices was deeply disturbing. There were lots of photos, lots of videos, many of them of a sexual nature.

"He had some interest in some quite niche sexual perversions. He regularly visited the dark web. It was quite a marathon for the investigating team to go through that material." The woman found at the house was the first of six police found out about. They each struggled with complex vulnerabilities.

"They were sex workers," DS Attenborough said. "A lot of them had drug and alcohol dependencies for many years and many of them were homeless. They were in really challenging circumstances, which made them perfect for exploitation. It was just those vulnerabilities that Nicholas Moxham sought to exploit.

"I'm very glad to say that on each of those occasions, we were able to take them out of those situations and improve their lives quite considerably." Officers were able to identify potential victims before tracking them down and building a relationship, so they gradually felt comfortable to share the details of their ordeals.

Police said Moxham tried to throw hard drives out of a window when arrested

"This was conducted over a number of years. It was difficult, but exhaustive efforts were made," DS Attenborough added. Moxham uncooperative, denying any wrongdoing. DS Attenborough added: "He's a very manipulative individual - very controlling - and has sought at every stage to try and deflect blame away from him and has actually tried to blame his victims and make out he was the victim of what went on, which is just absurd."

Moxham's crimes were 'well-planned and meticulous', with the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns giving him the opportunity to strike. "That meant sex workers, who would ordinarily be making work through sex work on the streets in Manchester, were unable to do so," DS Attenborough said.

"They had nowhere to stay, they had drug habits to fund, they really were in dire straits and Moxham saw those vulnerabilities escalating and offered himself up as a bit of a knight in shining armour... and incentivised them with offers of somewhere to stay, access to money and access to drugs.

"You can quite easily understand why many of these women thought at the beginning this was fantastic, but it didn't take long for them to realise things were not as they seemed and Moxham wasn't there to help them at all. He was there to exploit them and for his own sexual perversions.

"It's unprecedented in terms of the serious nature of offending; the sheer number of offences; the fact there are so many complainants; and the multi-year period speaks to the depravity of his conduct. I have been in serious crime investigation for much of my career and have been in Greater Manchester Police for 17 years and I've never come across anything this disturbing or of this magnitude."

During the five-week trial, jurors heard pre-recorded evidence and cross-examinations from Moxham's victims. According to DS Attenborough, Moxham displayed "absolutely no remorse or responsibility." Despite their ordeals, the women are now doing well and are recovering day by day.

Nicholas Moxham was arrested when his home was raided by police
-Credit:No credit

Speaking about crimes committed' in the shadows', but 'under people's noses and behind closed doors', DS Attenborough said: "This is a prime example of that - on the face of it, Moxham was a respectable, upstanding member of the community... a business owner; well-educated; eloquent in the way he spoke; he could be quite charming and quite engaging; and living on a very normal, suburban street.

"Yet these types of offences were going on behind closed doors, in close proximity to neighbours and families and small children for some considerable time before they came to the attention of police." Moxham lived alone at a house on Briarfield Road. A family lived next door and elderly neighbours lived opposite.

DS Attenborough added: "Without the support of the community that lived around him, and them communicating their concerns to the police, we would never potentially have known what was going on there." After arranging for the women to go back to his house, Moxham filmed many of them using specialist equipment without their consent, including using cameras hidden in pens.

A number of videos showed him raping or sexually assaulting women. "He liked to record sexual acts to [watch] later," DS Attenborough said. "But in a lot of instances, the people being recorded did not know they were being recorded and hadn't consented to that."

Moxham was found guilty of 32 charges for a range of offences including six counts of rape; six counts of controlling prostitution for gain; thirteen counts of voyeurism; three counts of requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour; three accounts of assault by penetration and a count of attempted rape. He will be sentenced on July 12.

DS Attenborough added: "If you are a victim of crime please come forward, please do talk to us, we are very experienced specialist officers waiting to support you, you will be listened to.

"What you tell us will be investigated fully and Greater Manchester Police don't just work on their own, we have a whole host of partner agencies to support victims of crime, especially victims of sexual crime. Please come to us and tell us about your experiences and let us help and support you."

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