Feeds

Four jailed for million-pound abuse images ring

Huge newsgroup uncovered

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?