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Pedo porn ring gets slap on wrist

Max sentence of 30 months for wOnderland crew

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Seven British members of a notorious Internet child porn ring escaped the full force of the law in Kingston Crown Court today.

The guilty men were given lenient sentences for their parts in distributing enormous quantities of material throughout the w0nderland child pornography club. The jail terms ranged from one year to a maximum of 30 months.

The National Crime Squad press office said there had been no response to the sentences from the squad that had brought the paedophiles to book.

The paedophiles had pleaded guilty to conspiring to circulate indecent images of children, described by Detective Chief Inspector Alex Wood as "really quite horrific."

In sentencing, Judge Kenneth Macrae told the men that despite "pandering to the basest interests of man," the fact that they pleaded guilty to the charges was being taken into account.

At the time of their arrest, the maximum sentence for collecting and distributing child pornography was three years. Since then, the tariff has been increased to up to ten years.

The w0nderland club had 200 members, scattered all over the world. They had assembled more 750,000 unique images of pre-teen children being physically and sexually abused.

During the investigation officers were given counselling to help them cope with the material, according to Wood.

In total the collection showed the criminal abuse of 1,236 children, some as young as three months old, he said.

Detective Superintendent Peter Spindler said that the challenge for the squad now was to identify the victims of abuse. He said that the police had 'cleaned up' 900 images into viewable head and shoulder shots which were to be distributed throughout the police force.

So far, he said, 17 children had been identified. He would not comment more specifically: "What we need to remember is that these are real people with real lives we are dealing with here." ®

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