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PORT ELIZABETH - A Port Elizabeth woman on Friday pleaded guilty to being part of an international child pornography ring which distributed footage depicting the rape, torture and murder of babies, including newborns. 

Thea van Loggenberg from Westering appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court who ruled that the 24-year-old will not spend time in jail, handing down a five year sentence, wholly suspended for five years. 

State Advocate Jason Thysse read the plea and sentence agreement in court on Friday and said that South Africa was ravaged with acts of violence and the abuse of children on a daily basis. 

"Children are entitled to the protection of their rights. The accused's acts are despicable and have sparked public outcry," said Thysse. 

She was arrested at her house in March 2015 along with her husband Jayde Sheldon Bailey in an international police operation called Cloud nine. Bailey also pleaded guilty to the charges against him and was sentenced to five years imprisonment last year. 

READ MORE: Woman linked to child porn syndicate expected to plead guilty

The case was investigated by a team in Johannesburg working together with the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Belgian police.

At the time of her arrest, police confiscated Van Loggenberg's laptop and the hard-drive contained 21 sexually explicit videos and films of children. 

Over a three year period, Van Loggenberg would use an internet media file sharing programme named "Gigatribe" while surfing the internet for child porn.

On the programme child porn would be sent to and from one user to another. 

Her plea outlined that she would download pornographic videos and watch sexually explicit acts being performed on children, for her own sexual gratification. She entered into the plea agreement and chose to remain silent and not testify during proceedings. 

According to her plea, she acknowledges that she has a problem and is currently seeking medical help. The confiscated footage on her hard-drive has since been forfeited to the State and will be destroyed. 

She was convicted on charges which relate to the importing , possession and distribution of films or publications which contain depictions or descriptions which encourage or promote child pornography or the sexual exploitation of children. 

The case has been described by officials close to the investigation as one of the most horrific child pornography cases to be uncovered, where police would usually take statements from victims, in this instance acts of sexual exploitation involving young children were seen via video. 

In Bailey's case graphic details emerged of images depicting naked young children posing in provocative positions and in one instance, a baby with an umbilical cord still attached. Both their names will now be registered in the National Register for Sex Offenders. 

African News Agency/ANA