TWO “dangerous and depraved” men have been locked up indefinitely for offences described as “one of the worst cases of predatory paedophilia it is possible to imagine.”

Kevin Carpenter will serve at least 12 years and Robert Marti at least nine years for a catalogue of horrific sex offences against young boys.

But Judge Christopher Harvey Clark told them it is possible they may never be released.

A third man, David Coxhead, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Sentencing at Bournemouth Crown Court, the judge told Carpenter: “You are a dangerous and depraved man. If you were returned to the community you would be unable to resist further sexual abuse of boys.”

And he described Marti’s behaviour as “repulsive to any normal person” and added: “You are in a state of outright denial. I intend to give you plenty of opportuinity in a prison cell to reflect upon the true state of affairs.”

Victims and their families were in the public gallery to see the three men sent to prison and shouted: “Rot in hell” as they were led from the court.

The lengthy prison sentences are the culmination of a huge operation involving police and social workers after the extensive abuse came to light in Bournemouth last year.

During a complicated two-month trial jurors heard how sickening abuse took place for more than 10 years before two 14-year-old boys plucked up the courage to report what had happened to them., A total of four men were convicted of more than 70 offences including rape, taking indecent images of children and other serious sexual offences., Operation Cobalt, the police investigation, identified more than 20 victims, mainly living in the north Bournemouth area.

The Dorset Police Child Abuse Investigation Team worked on the case for months before bringing it to Bournemouth Crown Court and securing convictions against the four men.

Marti, 56, of Haviland Mews, Boscombe, was found guilty of 21 crimes including rape, sexual activity with a child and causing/inciting sexual activity with children.

When jurors announced the rape verdict there were cheers from family and friends of the victims in the public gallery. Carpenter, 49, of St Swithun’s Road, Bournemouth was convicted of 36 offences including sexual activity with a child and taking indecent images of a child.

They included photographs and a video showing himself abusing a boy.

He was also found guilty of other serious sexual offences.

David Coxhead, 52, now of Severn Beach, Avon and Somerset, was found guilty of nine offences of indecency with children and another serious offence.

Coxhead, who was reported to police after victims read a report about the case in the Daily Echo, used to run Dorset Angling in Boscombe.

Luke James, 36, of Charminster Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images, indecent assault and another serious sexual offence before the trial began and has since been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail.