The Accrington martial arts instructor who traded revolting images online
A martial arts instructor who sent ‘revolting and repulsive’ images to an Israeli paedophile who was live-streaming abuse of his own daughter online has been jailed.
Aron James Stacey’s offending came to light following an investigation by the National Crime Agency child exploitation and online protection team into the Israeli national in 2017.
The 38-year-old from Accrington had spotted the paedophiles activity in an online chat room used for sharing indecent images and contacted him over Skype using the name “aztecmartialarts”.
Prosecutor David Bentley told Preston Crown Court that the Skype log between the men ‘made for very worrying reading’.
It included Stacey sending a picture of a man holding his genitals and a conversation about abusing a child online in real-time.
The court heard that by the end of the conversation Stacey had distributed one child sex abuse image, received four other images of children and shared two videos that couldn’t be traced.
Stacey, of Queens Road West, was traced through his Facebook profile which included his photograph and cited him as living in Accrington and working at Aztec Martial Arts.
Mr Bentley said: “The police were concerned that as a martial arts instructor he had regular contact with young children and a warrant was executed at his home address.”
Officers seized a laptop and hard drive and Stacey was arrested he replied “Is this a stitch up?”
He later denied committing any offences and said his mobile phone and laptop had been purchased second hand.
However when asked to provide the swipe pattern for his mobile phone Stacey refused to comply and also failed to provide the pin numbers and passwords for his other advices.
Further failed requests were made in April, June and July 2018 and the court heard how police were keen to gain access to an encrypted container on Stacey’s mobile phone.
Officers eventually recovered 11 category A indecent images of child – the most serious – one category B video, 27 category C images and one extreme photograph.
Stacey pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children, one of distributing indecent images, one of making an indecent image and one of failing to disclose access to an encrypted device.
He was jailed for three years and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.
Sentencing, Judge David Potter said: “This is a worrying and desperately serious case.”