IT Security Agencies Net Child Sex Offender
Date: Friday, June 22, 2012
A judge has praised officers for “a classic piece of detective work” after their investigation led to the conviction of a dangerous sex offender who preyed on children as young as six.
Sentencing unemployed Darren Leggett to an indeterminate custodial sentence, Judge Statman said that the police operation had been “well handled and sensitively conducted” – and it had ensured that youngsters were safer as a result.
Leggett was convicted of a raft of offences, including child rape, taking, possessing and distributing sexual abuse images of children and arranging a child for sex.
The defendant, of Mount Avenue, Yalding, near Maidstone, also admitted filming his abuse of children and setting up websites to share them with others.
Maidstone Crown Court was told how Leggett’s crimes had come to light when the Internet Watch Foundation received a tip-off from a member of the public about one of the sites.
The foundation found that the website was hosted in Germany, and the criminal content was removed. But the images and chat on the site suggested the children were in danger – and the content appeared to link to the UK.
The organisation pinpointed the location of the second site before passing on their information to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
Specialists at CEOP were then able to identify the account and the individual to which it was linked and gave the details to Kent Police detectives.
Within days officers set up an operation during which Leggett arranged to pay for sexual abuse of a child. A warrant was executed at his home on February 10 this year where officers found more than 30 depraved films he had made.
Det Sgt Dave Shipley, SIO on the case, told reporters that Leggett had seen young children as “commodities that he was content to share with others”.
He added: “Through the joined up working of the agencies involved, a dangerous man has been brought to justice for his crimes – as a result, we have been able to identify the victims and take steps to ensure they are protected from further harm.
“This is an excellent example of sharing information between those who police the internet and those who police the community – it also indicates the extent to which we are prepared to track down those involved in the systematic abuse of children.”
The sentiment was shared by Jim Warnock, Head of Operational Delivery at CEOP, who also praised the “excellent working relationships” between agencies and the police.
As well as serving a minimum of seven years in prison, Leggett must also sign on the sex offenders register for life and was given a lifelong sexual offences prevention order.
He was barred from working with children and vulnerable adults and must undergo a sex offender treatment programme, Kent Police has confirmed.
Courtesy of SecurityOracle.com - The Secury Industry's Portal