Brett McBain, 51 and David Buckley, 54 were arrested for creating a dark web chat room called £1TheOtherPlace which was used to share images of children being abused and included several links to such indecent images.
The perpetrators described the chatroom as a channel for the respectful appreciation of youthful beauty. Almost every day, around 60 people signed up to the room and shared about 2,500 links to images depicting child abuse.
The chat room was created in 2014 by Brett McBain who shared as many as 200,000 images of child abuse. Buckley, on the other hand, shared links to such images which amounted to 30,000.
It was reported that Buckley and McBain met online through a similar dark web channel and managed to operate the chat room without meeting each other in person.
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McBain used his real name to sign up
The police were able to track down McBain after he used his name to sign up in his chat room. While Buckley appeared as a woman online, McBain registered himself as MrBrett.
Essentially, the Western Australian Police told the National Crime Agency officers that a person with the username MrBrett was constantly online in the chat room. Consequently, McBain was arrested at his own home.
McBain, who is from Balham, South London was charged with ten crimes involving child abuse and was consequently sentenced to five years of imprisonment. When McBain was arrested, he told that he is officially screwed.
The police also discovered that he owned 160,000 images of child abuse along with an electronic diary in which McBain wrote his disturbing thought regarding child abuse.
Buckley, on the other hand, was arrested and put to jail for three years having been charged for sharing images and serving as an accomplice to McBain.
McBain has been described as an alcoholic while Buckley was apparently an individual with drug and alcohol issues. For Buckley, posing as a woman was a means through which he gained attention. He was registered as Ladybird in the chat room. As of now, the chat room has been disabled.
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Ongoing efforts to fight child abuse
Recorder Brian Altman QC stated that the case is particularly extreme given the numbers involved.
Nevertheless, Western Australian Police has been working with the NCA to safeguard children against such abuse.
Operation Amadeus was launched by the Western Australia police that led to the arrest of several men in Australia who were responsible for sharing disturbing images of children.
Indeed, child abuse is a growing problem and according to Punam Chopra of the Crown Prosecution Service, dark web chat rooms such as these give easier access to indecent images which further fuels the demand for child abuse. And the images themselves are therefore a crime since, in each picture, a child is being abused.
She stated that although authorities are working to mitigate the issue, a greater effort, however, is needed.
It was just a few days ago when authorities in Germany shut down a dark web child porn site and busted the man responsible for creating it. This shows that law enforcement authorities are taking serious steps to tackle the growing issue of online child abuse and platforms supporting it.
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