Germany jails couple for selling son online

The Freiburg court also jailed her partner, the boy's stepfather, for 12 years.

A German court handed down lengthy jail sentences yesterday to an unemployed couple for repeatedly sexually abusing their son, now 10, and selling him to paedophiles online. They charged several thousand euros (dollars) for each instance of abuse, filmed the acts and posted them on the darknet.

Eight people allegedly part of an online paedophile ring have been arrested.

Three German men and one Swiss citizen have already been convicted in separate trials.

Two of the abusers in the case were fined 42,500 Euros, which is to be paid to the boy and a girl who was also a victim in the case.

The court found that the couple had sexually assaulted and raped the boy for years, and sold him on the so-called dark net to pedophiles between May 2015 and August 2017.

The case has horrified Germany, not least because the authorities - who knew that the mother's partner was a convicted paedophile - missed opportunities to rescue the boy, our correspondent says.

The pair have only been identified by the pseudonyms Berrin T and Christian L in line with German privacy rules. They also were convicted of rape, human trafficking for the objective of sexual exploitation, forced prostitution and producing child pornography, among other offenses.

In his verdict, Buergelin said Taha went along with the abuse at first so she would not lose Lais as a partner and later "for financial motives".

According to case psychiatrist Hartmut Pleines, quoted by Spiegel, the mother's claim that she was in thrall to her partner when she committed the abuse was false.

The child was removed from the family in March previous year - however, a local court sent him back weeks later.

The boy is now living with foster parents and is doing well "under the circumstances", his lawyer said Tuesday.

Vanessa Coleman