Friday, 9 December 2011


Tuesday, 13 February, 2001, 18:09 GMT
Child pornographers sentenced

Seven men have been convicted of conspiring to distribute indecent images of children
Child care campaigners have reacted with outrage to the sentences imposed this afternoon on seven men who were part of the world's biggest known child pornography ring. The men pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to distribute indecent images of children.

Hines: sentenced to 30 months
Dr Michelle Elliott, director of Kidscape said: "You would get a longer sentence for accumulating masses of parking tickets or for burglary."

David Hines, of Bognor Regis in West Sussex and Ian Baldock, of St Leonards in East Sussex were sentenced to thirty months each.

Baldock: sentenced to 30 months

Ahmed Ali of Tulse Hill, South London; Andrew Barlow of Milton Keynes and Gavin Seagars of Dartford in Kent: two years each.

Frederick Stevens of Hayes, West London: twelve months and Antoni Skinner of Cheltenham: eighteen months in jail.

Baldock and Hines were placed on the sex offenders register for life because of their greater role in the gang's crimes.

Largest internet child pornography ring

Ali: sentenced to 24 months
The convicted men were members of a child pornography ring called "The Wonderland Club", named after Lewis Carroll's book "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland".

They admitted using the internet to swop thousands of pornographic picture of children, including young babies. A total of 750,000 pictures were seized by police as part of the operation to bring the men to trial.

Barlow: sentenced to 24 months

In order to join the Wonderland Club, potential members had to provide 10,000 new indecent pictures of children. All of the children involved were under the age of 16 and in one case the child was only three months old.

Reaction to the case

Passing sentence at Kingston Crown Court, Judge Kenneth Macrae told the seven men: "You directly or indirectly exploited the most vulnerable in our society. Children represent the future. They should be cared for and protected."

Seagars: sentenced to 24 months
The question child care charities are asking once again is whether there are enough safeguards to stop this happening again, and whether the new legislation is sufficient to deal with this sort of pornography on the internet.

The man responsible for co-ordinating the world-wide police operation leading to today's sentencing - Detective Superintendent Peter Spindler of the National Crime Squad - gave his reaction to the convictions:

Skinner: sentenced to 18 months

"It's a great relief to conclude what's been a very long operation...We can combat crime on the internet. We won't tolerate child pornography in the UK. If anybody thinks that in a modern, civilised society that a sexual preference for children is acceptable, then they're wrong. And the prison sentences in the future will be three times as long as they've been today".

New legislation

A bill now before parliament will increase the maximum sentence for offences relating to child pornography to 10 years.

But is enough being done to prevent another paedophile ring like this preying on more children?
Stephens: sentenced to 12 months
PM spoke to the Home Office Minister, Lord Bassam, who undertook to ensure that police powers keep pace with developments on the internet.

We also spoke to Ruth Dixon, deputy chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, and to Annie Mullen who speaks for the Children's Charities Coalition on Child Safety on the Internet.

Annie Mullen said she was disappointed in the sentences and that internet service providers could do more to protect children by controlling chat sites and monitoring the internet more closely.

Ruth Dixon told us that the internet must not be seen as a safe, anonymous haven for people to do what they like.


Zoompad said...

Anger as Internet paedophiles set for freedomComments (0) Add to My Stories Child welfare campaigners today condemned news that the first of seven Internet paedophiles jailed for involvement in the notorious Wonderland Club could be back at a computer terminal next month.
The seven men escaped maximum jail terms in February this year after confessing to being part of the club which was the world's largest known child pornography ring.
Its 180-strong membership swapped thousands of pornographic photographs of children through computers and the group regarded themselves as the elite of the world's paedophiles.
Their Internet database held some 750,000 images, including the rape of babies as young as two or three months.
Children in the images were seen sobbing as they were sexually violated.
The club demanded an "entry fee" of 10,000 new images of pre-teen sex abuse from paedophiles wanting to join.
In February seven men were jailed for between 12 and 30 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute indecent images of children.
New legislation which increased the maximum jail term for the offence from three to 10 years came in to force after their offences were committed.
A judge at Kingston Crown Court said all of them would have to serve half of their sentence with them all remaining on licence for the remainder.
Of the seven Frederick Stephens, 46, a taxi driver from Hayes, west London received the shortest sentence - 12 months - and he is eligible for release on licence on August 12.
The father-of-two kept nearly 9,000 photographs and 643 video clips of child sex abuse on his computer and was known as "Guess Who" and "Me Again" to others in the ring.
Another member, unemployed Andrew Barlow, 25, of Bletchley, Bucks received a two year sentence but had already spent time in custody so could also be released next month.
He called himself "Mix" and sent at least 24,000 pictures of child sex abuse to other Wonderland members.
Director of the child protection charity Kidscape, Dr Michelle Elliott, said she believed the Wonderland members would "go straight out and do it all over again".
She said: "They showed compulsive, addictive behaviour and these men are still dangerous.
"You can't monitor someone getting on the Internet so there is nothing to stop them coming out and doing the same thing - next time they will just be more careful they don't get caught."
She said it was "absurd" that their sentences were less than the four years Lord Archer received last week after being found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice.
"It is far more serious to be involved in child pornography than it is to tell a lie or burgle a house or steal a car and the sentences are all out of proportion," she said.
"They will come out and do it all over again because there has not been time to give them effective therapy.
"At least if they were in for two or three years getting treatment there might be a chance. It's a joke."
Another Wonderland member computer consultant Antoni Skinner, 36, of London Road, Cheltenham, who swapped degrading pictures of children under the names "Satan" and "Uhura", will be eligible for release in November this year.
Computer salesman Gavin Seagers, 29, of Dartford, Kent who was known as "Spank Daddy" and taxi driver Ahmet Ali, 31, of Tulse Hill, south London, known as "Caesar", will be eligible for release next February.
Jobless David Hines, 30, of Bognor Regis, West Sussex who used the nickname "Mutt's Nutts" and computer consultant Ian Baldock, 31, from St Leonards, East Sussex are not eligible for release on licence until May next year.
Hines and Baldock will be on the sex offenders register for life and the others for seven years.

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Zoompad said...

The judicial system has basically legalised paedophiliua by the back doort, by dishing out such pathetic lenient sentances.

Zoompad said...

I feel sorry for the police in all of this. And that's amazing, given my bad experiences!

But the police catch these scumbags, and the courts tap them lightly on the wrist and let them go again!

It must be a really disheartening job right now, to be a cop. It must be as bad as being an anti child abuse campaigner!