Two British paedophiles who used a ‘real time’ streaming app to watch live films of children being raped have been jailed following an international investigation.
Stephen Stott, 23, and 34-year old Dean Jones were held after investigators from Homeland Security in the US discovered paedophiles were using video conference software to watch horrific and explicit child pornography together.
Using pin numbers, up to 50 paedophiles at a time would log onto a chatroom via the app to see boys and girls being raped live – with some horrific film footage featuring babies just 12 months old.
Stephen Stott, 23, (pictured) and 34-year old Dean Jones were held after investigators from Homeland Security in the US discovered paedophiles were using video conference software to watch horrific and explicit child pornography together
The National Crime Agency in the UK were alerted after Stott, a VIP hospitality worker who lives with his mother in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, posted bragging messages on the site replying to a post from another user who said: ‘baby n toddler lovers?’ after they watched a pre-recorded video clip
Over a three month in 2015 a series of posts from Stott – after watching a five year old girl being raped – included: ‘Would love to see boy,’ ‘Anyone snuff?’ and ‘who wants tiny?’
He also enquired about actual participation in abuse by asking the group ‘anyone had real?’, ‘anyone with access’ and ‘any UK with access.’
Jones, from Stockport, was later arrested and was found to have filmed himself taking part in sordid sexual encounters but none involved children
Detectives swooped on Stott – a regular figure on Manchester’s club scene – in July 2016 and examined his phone to discover he had sent various horrific pictures via WhatsApp to Jones, a college graduate who works in palliative care.
They included video clips of girls and boys being repeatedly raped and abused.
One showed a 43 second clip of a 10-year-old girl.
Jones, from Stockport, was later arrested and was found to have filmed himself taking part in sordid sexual encounters but none involved children.
In a WhatsApp exhange between the two men Jones said: ‘You child minding soon?’ to which Stott replied: ‘ Hopefully. What you wana do then? What if he said something?’
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Stott was jailed for 32 months after he admitted making and distributing indecent images, possessing extreme pornography, aiding and abetting the showing of indecent images and conspiracy to perform a sexual act.
Jones was jailed for nine months after he admitted conspiracy to commit a sexual act, possessing extreme pornography and making an indecent image of a child.
The court heard Stott came to the attention of the NCA following an international investigation involving agencies from the USA and Canada.
Stott was jailed for 32 months after he admitted number of offences including making and distributing indecent images and possessing extreme pornography. Jones was jailed for nine months after he admitted conspiracy to commit a sexual act, possessing extreme pornography, making an indecent image of child
Jon Close prosecuting said: ‘It focused an investigation on the use of online Video Conferencing Software to share, view, comment and even live stream the sexual abuse of children. The method by which it was viewed was quite sophisticated.
‘Most of the ‘meetings’ using the app involved legitimate legal activity. Unfortunately a criminal element had discovered that the app allowed for secret meetings wherein like minded individuals could meet on line and watch together the sexual abuse of children.
‘To access this meeting the individual would have to know the meeting ID number and it would appear that the meeting numbers were shared between those with the same criminal interests, either orally or online. In short you had to be invited into the group to be able to participate.
‘Upon entering the ‘video conference’ an individual is presented with a video or webcam image. Those present on the conference can screen-share video clips or even live broadcasts, which in turn broadcasts to others in the chat room the abusive material thereby allowing the group to watch the abuse together.
‘Sometimes this material was by way of pre-recorded clips. Sometimes there was a live feed of abuse wherein the viewers could solicit specific acts. There is no suggestion, however, that Stott was present at the time of ‘live streamed’ abuse.’
Stott was at a ‘video conference’ on two occasions, between September and December 2015 when participants viewed, shared and commented upon pre-recorded video clips showing the sexual abuse of children.
Jones was said to have watched and commented on the abuse ‘with some enthusiasm’ but he did not share any of his own video or pictorial content with the group.
Mr Close said on September 21 2015 24 people including Stott were present in the ‘chat room’ in which footage was streamed of a pre-recorded clip showing the rape of boys aged between the ages of 10 and 14. On December 4 2015, there were up to 50 people present in the ‘chatroom’ during which six more sick recordings were broadcast including a film entitled: ‘baby-2years old (brutal)’.
Mr Close added: ‘Whilst the videos are playing, or before the same are selected, there is often comment made by those present in the room. Stott made comments during a discussion as to the type of image the group would like to see.
‘After viewing the abuse of a 5 year old female the defendant asked the group ‘anyone snuff?’ and ‘who wants tiny?’ He also enquired about actual participation in abuse by asking the group ‘anyone had real?’, ‘anyone with access’ and ‘any UK with access.’
Investigations showed Stott had been swapping WhatsApp messages and sick sexual photographs with Jones in the week before his arrest. As part of the Whatsapp conversation, the pair also discussed whether they would force someone to have sex and the abuse of children. Police spoke to a young boy amid fears he might have been molested by Stott but but no evidence was found of any abuse.
In mitigation for Stott, defence lawyer Mark Fireman, said: ‘It was never the case that Mr Stott distributed images that he had created himself to be viewed by others. His role was a passive one in that he watched what others had done and albeit typed words of encouragement.
‘At a relatively young age he became involved with older individuals who have a long way to corrupting what most would consider to be wholly wrongful actions and wrongful material. His actions are from what took place when he was a much younger man.
‘It’s plain he deeply regrets his actions. He has expressed genuine remorse for his behaviour and wishes to change the way he is living, change his lifestyle. When he is released he will go back to live with his mother.
For Jones, Nicholas Clarke, said: ‘He received and willingly engaged in conversation beyond his experience. It may well be the case that Mr Stott was more technologically sophisticated and more deeply involved in this world of child images.
‘The life he was living was some what isolated with short relationship that were to his desire. A report said that for that period Mr Jones had a preoccupation with deviant sexual behaviour. It shocked him but he has to accept that is accurate.
‘He didn’t back away from the images sent to him. He was encouraging it saying ‘don’t you owe me a video?’ ‘Can’t you send me some more?’ But there’s no indication that the material has come from anyone else but Stephen Stott..’
Stott was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life whilst Jones will be on it for 10 years.
Judge Mark Savill said their behaviour had been ‘warped’ and told them: ‘It is is most disturbing that both of you have shown deviant sexual interest in very young children. The images and discussions you engaged in are abhorrent and distressing in equal measure.
‘Viewing images for your own perverse interests repeats the dreadful abuse of children. You place yourselves in close connection with the abusers themselves – and by doing so these are not victimless crimes. You have both abandoned the moral compass and you should hang your heads in shame.’