Feeds

Four jailed for million-pound abuse images ring

Huge newsgroup uncovered

Security for virtualized datacentres

Four men have been sentenced today for their parts in running a news group service used for the distribution of child abuse images.

The news service, Athenanews.com, earned the four men about £2.2m - police will be applying to the courts to seize that money.

Ian Frost, 35, and his civil partner Paul Rowland, 34, of Martin Dales, Lincolnshire got 33 months each. Ian's brother Paul Frost, 37, of Woodhouse, Sheffield, got 15 months and Ian Sambridge, 32, of St Albans, got 12 months suspended for two years.

None of the men were known to the police before the investigation began. They were highly - technical and police seized commercial servers among other hardware - see below.

newsgroup-storage

Operation Alpine began after a tip-off from German police received via CEOP.

Lincolnshire Police identified 211 suspects in the UK and 1,300 around the world.

Detective Superintendent Paul Gibson said: “The safety of children has always been our main focus throughout this investigation and the real achievement remains the protecting and safeguarding of 132 young people in Britain as a direct result of our work...Lincolnshire Police will be making an application through the courts in an attempt to seize the profits obtained as a result of their illegal enterprise. A total benefit of £2.2m was received as a result of running their news services.

“The wider investigation also identified 211 suspects in the UK and 1,300 worldwide. All of these people are suspected of buying child abuse images from the news service run by the offenders. Many have been dealt with by the police and the courts and this process is ongoing." The news service ran between 2002 and 2009 and members paid according to how much content they wished to download.

Police seized raid arrays and servers - one so large that it dimmed the lights in the room were it was switched on for forensic examination. Police looked at 1.3m emails, mostly manually, they have viewed and categorised 5.5m images and 6,000 films.

Others convicted as a result of Operation Alpine include a deputy head of Cumbrian NHS Trust, a scout leader and school governor from Devon and Cornwall, a school crossing patrol worker from Humberside and a Scottish teacher. In total 55 people have been sentenced or cautioned for child abuse image offences.

Lincolnshire Police worked with CEOP, nearly all other UK forces and SOCA and other international agencies on the case. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
NATO declares WAR on Google Glass, mounts attack alongside MPAA
Yes, the National Association of Theater Owners is quite upset
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.