A Northampton couple have been jailed for a total of 36 years after being convicted of the abuse of 11 boys and girls as young as 11, over a decade between 1996 and 2006. Nicholas Taylor, 47, and Joan Taylor, 43, got the children hooked on drugs before subjecting them to vile abuse.

Leicester Crown Court heard how the couple terrorised the children with threats of violence, raping at least five of them multiple times and subjecting them to physical and sexual assaults. In total they were convicted of over 90 separate offences, having pleaded guilty to other offences before the trial began. Neither had shown any remorse for their actions, said Judge Nicholas Dean QC.

"You caused children to become addicted to drugs and you used their bodies for your pleasure," said Judge Dean, addressing Nicholas Taylor.

"In truth your behaviour stems from craven lack of any moral compass and your depraved appetite for drugs and sexual gratification. You raped children. You are an intelligent man, but a monster."

Nicholas Taylor, who had previous convictions for indecency, was jailed for life with a minimum 18 year prison sentence. As Nicholas was led away he gave the jury a "thumbs-up" and said, "Yeah, spot on."

Joan Taylor, a former prostitute, received a minimum 18 years and didn't show any emotion, according to The Guardian. Emily Culverhouse, mitigating, said: "When Nick was not around, Joan was a different person. She was under Nick's control at all times. She was controlled by both drugs and violence. This offending – in my submission – would not have occurred had it not been for him."

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) welcomed the sentences handed out to the couple and paid tribute to their victims who had testified and provided impact statements.

Janine Smith, from the CPS, said: "The Taylors were found guilty of over 90 separate offences and we argued that both present a real danger to society. The victims have given moving personal impact statements to the court to make clear the profound impact that the Taylors' offences have had on their lives. They have shown great strength and courage to come forward to ensure that the Taylors have faced the consequences of their crimes.

"I would like to commend them for supporting the prosecution with their evidence. It cannot be easy but today they have seen their abusers imprisoned and I hope that this will be of comfort to them."