He was a tidy year-four student, smartly dressed in his uniform.

Geeky and smiley, he appeared to be like most boys his age - that's why it's hard to imagine Richard Huckle would grow up to become Britain's worst paedophile.

Huckle, who awarded himself "pedoPoints" based on the severity of his crimes, was found dead in his prison cell in England after he was stabbed multiple times.

Huckle's disturbing crimes range from sexually abusing a baby in a nappy to raping underage children and selling images of the abuse on the dark web.

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The now-dead 33-year-old would often prey on vulnerable children in orphanages, schools and churches.

But how can a boy from a loving family turn into a vile monster?

Unlike many paedophiles who endured their own sexual abuse as children, Huckle's parents were "lovely people and good parents" with their son growing up in a life considered rather normal and "ordinary".

He grew up in a middle-class family in Kent, attended church and worked hard at school. Fellow students describe him as quiet but popular.

"He was so quiet, it was almost like he kept his academic ability a secret even as a child," A source told The Sun.

"He was a normal child, interested in normal things like Action Man."

He grew up to become Britain's most prolific paedophile. Photo / Supplied
He grew up to become Britain's most prolific paedophile. Photo / Supplied

HOW LIFE BEGAN TO UNRAVEL

After finishing primary school Huckle's life began to change. He drifted away from friends and allegedly dabbled in petty crime.

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"Huckle was a bit of an odd lad but he did have a few close mates," one boy, who also attended the grammar school, said.

"He actually got into trouble for selling counterfeit Pokemon cards and was trying to make money on the latest trends."

He became a "loner" and an easy target for bullies. Many made fun of his "rat-like" appearance.

After finishing high school Huckle took a gap year before travelling to Asia where he went relatively unnoticed - and the location for where his evil crimes would start.

Huckle claimed he was doing charity work, but used it as a cover story for his long campaign of abuse he was about to dish out.

Huckle first visited Malaysia on a gap year teaching placement in 2005 before heading to Cambodia the following year, where he sexually abused two sisters aged four and six — although the crimes weren't uncovered for another decade.

For the next eight years, he posed as an English teacher and devoted Christian. But what really happened was he was grooming and sexually abusing scores of children. He soon targeted orphanages he was volunteering at.

During his time in Malaysia, he shared a tiny apartment with Surrey mum-of-one Sammie Gee, who says he spent most of his time alone and never spoke of girlfriends.

He claimed to have low self-esteem and a lack of confidence with women.

Some psychologists have made a link between sex offenders and rejection, with attackers often claiming to have been rejected by women at school.

Huckle used his gap year as a springboard for a campaign of depraved abuse. Photo / Supplied
Huckle used his gap year as a springboard for a campaign of depraved abuse. Photo / Supplied

'HE GAVE ME THE CREEPS — BUT HE WAS CHRISTIAN'

Sammie Gee explained Huckle acted strangely around children, but not in a way some might expect.

She described him as nervous around children and wouldn't interact with any of them.

He wore a camera around his neck wherever he went.

"We never gelled and there was always something odd about him, but he was a Christian and out there to do all these amazing things so we all gave him a chance," Gee said.

"He was a very odd, sad, weasley guy who didn't interact with people.

"I never got on with him, and he always gave me the creeps."

STRANGE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

A former primary school student who knew Huckle remained his friend on Facebook, but strange photos of the Huckle and children started to appear online.

Huckle had begun uploading photos of children on the beach, which left his old friend feeling uncomfortable.

"I thought these pictures looked quite strange and 'suggestive' as in how you would imagine an adult model to be posed, but the children were fully clothed," says the source.

"It was clear that he had got these kids to pose."

Huckle started bragging about the "ease" of targeting Malaysian youngsters, then later on police found disturbing messages on the dark web.

""Impoverished kids are definitely much easier to seduce than middle-class Western kids," Huckle wrote.

He also created a 60-page "how-to" guide for paedophiles, kept a tally of the number of children he abused and shared videos and images of himself raping children.

Huckle, born in 1986, grew up in a middle-class, churchgoing family in Kent. Photo / Supplied
Huckle, born in 1986, grew up in a middle-class, churchgoing family in Kent. Photo / Supplied

ARREST AND SICKENING DISCOVERIES

Huckle was finally arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA) after Australian cops probing a notorious paedophile website discovered his online activities and tipped them off.

He was arrested at Gatwick Airport after flying home to the UK for Christmas.

Huckle had amassed 20,000 images of child abuse and had even abused a baby girl in a nappy.

He initially denied his vile crimes but later confessed to his horrified parents.

His parents, who were devastated, kicked him out of home and begged police to take him away.

STABBED TO DEATH BEHIND BARS

Huckle was later handed 22 life sentences after admitting to 71 counts of sex abuse against children — with the judge noting the number of victims was likely nearer 200.

In a statement to the press, Huckle tried to claim he had low self-esteem and a "lack of confidence with women", and that he'd "completely misjudged the affections I received from these children".

Huckle was ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years — meaning he could have been out by 2041. But last weekend he was knifed to death with a makeshift blade.