Massive child porn ring smashed after paedophile left his phone on the bus
POLICE across the UK are working to catch a nationwide paedophile ring – unearthed after one of its members left his phone on a North-East bus.
Wheelchair-bound pervert Michael Fraser’s mobile was found to contain child porn, and police used the handset to track down other suspected paedophiles in what a court heard is an ongoing operation.
Fraser, now of Seaham, County Durham, was sentenced to a three-year community order at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting a string of offences relating to the possession of indecent images of children.
The details of the ring emerged after Fraser left his mobile on a Tyneside bus in February.
After checking it to try to identify the owner, the driver was horrified to find a series of sick images stored on its memory.
That led police to Fraser, and a search of the 50-year-old’s then-home in Clayton Road, Jesmond, Newcastle, led to the discovery of 14 phones, six of which were filled with sick pictures of youngsters.
A forensic analysis of the handset revealed Fraser was just one member of a web of paedophiles across the UK, exchanging pictures and videos.
After unearthing the extent of the network, detectives launched an operation – codenamed Cammell – which led to more than 70 suspects being identified, many of them known paedophiles.
Fraser has become the last of five perverts to be sentenced for their part in the ring.
Paul Simpson, prosecuting, said an analysis of messages on the handsets led detectives to others, who had their phones seized and interrogated.
Judge John Evans told Fraser he could have faced jail – but did not send him there.
Instead, after the Probation Service said Fraser was eligible for sex offenders’ treatment, he was given a three-year community order, ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register and given a Sex Offenders’ Prevention Order, which means he must not use computers or phones for sending or receiving images.
He is also prevented from taking pictures in public of anyone under 16.