A prolific sex attacker who groomed vulnerable teenage boys on the internet is HIV positive, it has been revealed - and could have put lives at risk.
Family man Anthony Marsh, aged 53, and his accomplice Lee Davis, 39, both from South Yorkshire, have admitted grooming teenage boys for sex and possessing indecent images.
Now it has emerged Marsh, who used the aliases Tony Taylor and Tony Smith, is HIV positive - and has been since he started offending in 2005.
Each of his known victims has been tested and none has contracted the virus which can lead to AIDS.
But police say the pair, who have admitted charges in relation to 10 male victims, made contact with a total of 2,700 youngsters during the course of their offending.
And they are urging others who may have had contact with the pair to come forward.
Marsh, of Menson Drive, Hatfield, Doncaster, and Davis, of Rowena Road, Conisbrough, who used the alias James Parkin, have admitted 55 offences between them.
They denied 14 offences and the Crown Prosecution Service yesterday announced it would not try the men for the charges they denied.
District senior crown prosecutor Chris Hartley said it was not in the best interests to proceed to trial on the remaining counts because Marsh and Davis are already facing a possible term of life imprisonment.
He said: “I’m confident this is the right decision and in the best interest of the victims and the wider public.
“I’m pleased that we, together with South Yorkshire Police, have been able to build a case so strong that the victims have been spared the further worry of having to give evidence at court, and that those responsible for such disgraceful offences against young boys will be sentenced for their actions.”
DI Delphine Waring, who led the investigation, said: “I very much hope this case serves as a warning to anyone who believes they can abuse young children for their own sexual gratification.”