Librarian of child abuse networking site jailed indefinitely
Cradle of depravity
A UK man who ran an online child abuse image library that served as a meeting place for paedophiles was jailed indefinitely on Monday.
Philip Anthony Thompson, 27, of Stockton-on-Tees, was convicted of holding a library of 241,000 indecent images of kids, ranging in explicitness from the borderline legal to clearly obscene. Judge Michael Taylor described Thompson as a "dangerous offender" who would be placed on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
Thompson pleaded guilty to 27 charges including 16 counts of making indecent images, seven of distributing images of child abuse and one count of inducing a child under 13 to engage in sexual acts, PA reports.
Thompson will serve a minimum of three years and nine months, but will only be released when authorities are convinced he no longer presents a threat to youngsters. His entry on the sex offenders register means he will never be allowed to work with children.
Police said 50 arrests have been made and 130 suspects identified in the UK alone during the investigation into the child abuse ring centered around invitation-only sites run by Thompson. Outside Britain a further 230 suspects have been identified in countries including the US, Australia and Canada.
Undercover cops from the Metropolitan police infiltrated the ring in May 2007, in what became one of the largest investigations of its kind by British police. Officers from Cleveland Police and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) were also involved in the case.
Members of the forum run by Thompson would initially post images of children of borderline legality. These served as calling cards indicating that they were open to trading explicit photos and movie clips. The approach was designed to keep the site from attracting attention, allowing it to exist as a forum for child abusers to meet others with similar interests. Once connected, users exchanged images with each other and discussed plans for more abuse.
Thompson was unemployed at the time of his arrests and taught himself how to run the forum he operated, PA adds.
CEOP chief executive Jim Gamble said: "This website - whilst appearing to operate on the margins of legality - was clearly a front for the sinister, sexual abuse of children and an image-trading ground for paedophiles."
The investigation has resulted in the removal of 15 children from situations where they have been or might be abused by offenders, the BBC reports.
Det Chief Supt Mark Braithwaite, from Cleveland Police, said Thompson played a key role as a conduit for child abusers to meet and exchange images.
"He was, essentially, the librarian for a myriad of images that were distributed to like-minded individuals both in this country and elsewhere." ®
@A.C 09.02 and 09.41 20/08/08
Not all people that abuse/mutilate animals become serial killers but a sufficient number of serial killers started out with animals to consider such abuse as a significant precursor.
Not all people that choose to view child pornography will become paedophiles but a significant number of paedophiles possess child pornography.
A significant number of child abductions for sexual gratification end in the death of the child particularly if the abductor is a convicted paedophile.
When scouring the net you might inadvertently happen upon (I deliberately avoided ‘come across’) a dodgy site but would/should navigate away from it. You won’t get strung up for that.
If you deliberately visit such sites or create one to feed your need then you are on a slippery slope to who knows where?
Viewing images of a crime is a crime despite what AC is saying – if you are interacting with these people, no matter that it is just via the web, you may express an interest in something. If that ‘something’ isn’t catered for at that moment you can bet it will be soon. Was that ‘something’ sitting on someone else’s hard drive or was it made especially for you? Has another crime been instigated albeit ‘innocently’. How can deliberately viewing child pornography not be a crime? (barring for evidential purposes).
I’m sure a great many of The Register’s readers would not wish to attend a post mortem or a number of post mortems but a police officer has to. It’s just part of their job. Some can do it with no emotion, others can’t. It’s horses for courses. The same goes for those coppers that have to view images collected from suspected paedophiles. I know I couldn’t look at pictures or watch and listen to videos without a feeling of revulsion. It would then adversely effect how I would deal with the possessor of said items and then may cloud the issue at court. Sadly, someone has to do it.
what I honestly don't get, is that
if child pornography photos are so bad, and having them is illegal, then why do the police have them? Why do departments exist, who's actual job is to look for, and AT, these images all day long?
What are the images doing to these viewers? Are they pedophiles? What makes them different from the other people who view the photos?
According to the government, looking at the photos makes you likely to rape a child. So do these workers turn into active pedophiles? No...
Ah but you see, it's something in you. You cannot 'catch' pedophilia.
So wait, you're saying that if the general population saw those photos they would not suddenly turn into child molestors either? Hmm. Interesting.
So the only problem is the actual true pedophiles? Who will probably have a huge collection of photos no matter how legal or illegal they are. And who will make their OWN child porn photos if they can't find any online.
yes? no? Yes.
-Andy, I see what you're saying but your logic is a bit off. Being a bank robber obviously implies that you have broken a law. Thus you are a criminal. However, if you view a PHOTO of a bank robbery, that is not a crime. Same with child porn images imo. You are viewing a photo of a crime.. That is not actually illegal, and there's no real logical reason why it should be illegal. You are not doing anything. What's done is done.
I'm not sure the hardcore blitz reaction to child porn images makes sense. I'm wondering why they even treat it more seriously than things like murder. A PHOTO. Where a photo of a naked child is just a potential.... sign...of a potential..future...potential....assault.
The CRIME is when ...nay, IF the assault happens , surely?
re: What Pisses Me Off Most About Paedophiles By Harry Stottle
"...is that they give the Police State the one plausible argument they need for "Total Surveillance". Even Terrorism doesn't attract as much support for its countermeasures as does Paedophilia. Hence, if we want to keep the State out of our lives, we're going to have to figure out for ourselves what we do to prevent Paedophiles abusing this medium (the web). And then, do it.
Embrace the philosophy : Shit Happens.
Paedophiles are absolutely no reason for mass surveilance, 'just in case'
Parents should look after their kids, instead of Myspace etc doing it. And the children who are just unlucky or abused by their parents, fall under the above category unfortunately. You're never going to wipe out all crime. A good idea might also be if they allowed paedophiles to go and get help somewhere. But why would any even consider getting help, when they are seen as the scum of the Earth by everyone, a new law is made because of them daily, and apparently psychologists have to report any to the police, even if they haven't commited any crime ?
Or (but this will never happen) *deep breath* I say name and shame all convicted child molestors (not the people who hump bikes etc) In fact, publish a monthly magazine with their photos, home address etc. Have a free counselling service for anyone with these kind of ' bad thoughts' to use. 100% confidentiality. Even if they are admitting child abuse. It must absolutely be 100% safe for them to talk.
Split the sex offenders register so that there are different levels (like the bike humpers, or drunken streakers...not the same as raping a baby..)
Make it that if you are on the extreme side of the sex offender list, you are on it FOR LIFE, and molesting a child equals a non-negotiable 15 year sentence.
If they molest more than 1 child, a child under 3 years old, or abduct them, drug them etc, make the sentence 50 years.
You give them a chance to seek counselling, provide drugs which will lower the sex drive and/or SSRI type medication to target their brain chemistry..
Instead of just hiding everything away and shouting that it's bad, bad, bad, DO NOT DO THIS!! Try to prevent people acting on these thoughts, and if they commit the crimes anyway, lock them up and throw away the key.
If more people came forward and were totally honest and open, maybe we'd actually come closer to finding out what causes it, how bad the situation really is, and what we can do about it.