An international investigation led to the arrest of Andrew Warner who out of his Great Barr home acted as a ‘gatekeeper’ and was responsible for the smooth functioning of a chat site for pedophiles
A “gatekeeper” to get a chat site on the Dark Web that allowed Pedophiles to discuss indecent pictures of children being sexually abused was imprisoned.
When a computer in the Birmingham home of Andrew Warner was analyzed, police found over 60,000 obscene images.
Warner, 23, of Frampton Way, Great Barr, was sentenced to 2 years and three months after admitting three charges of making indecent images, three of dispersing them, and possessing indecent pictures.
Paul Mitchell, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said: “The suspect was involved in the supply of tens of thousands of indecent images on the Dark Web.
“He posted those pictures himself and shared them with others.
“He acted as a moderator. He was the gatekeeper. He had been ensuring the smooth functioning of the websites.”
In particular, he explained, Warner made sure that any new member provided the necessary variety of pictures to join.
The Offenses came to light because of an international investigation involving US Homeland Security and the Australian police force into a specific website on the Dark Web.
Warner, along with two others From America, acted as moderators for the chat room that was infiltrated by the Australian authorities.
The defendant, who used a pseudonym, was a”prolific poster” on the website posting 1,892 obscene images in a year.
The Chat room was shut down in November 2016, and both moderators in the US detained, but Warner carried on his role in two similar sites, with another pseudonym, until they were closed down and he was also detained.
In passing sentence, Judge Richard Bond said: “The facts of the case Demonstrate that you have a sexual interest in seeing this indecent imagery.
“You aren’t doing so to make friends online. You spread indecent images over a span of nearly two decades.
“Some Of these are completely repugnant because they involve pictures of very young children. You used a computer to get the Dark Web and created levels of secrecy to hide your action.
“This action encourages pedophiles to commit serious sexual offenses against children.
“In your position as a gatekeeper, you ensured the smooth functioning of this chat room. You had a very important function.
“You’re extremely busy offending. In many ways, it became an addiction.”
Chloe Fordham, defending, said: “The suspect was 17 for a period of the offending. He suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of Autism and melancholy.
“He didn’t find these pictures a sexual turn on. The first time he entered this world was when he was about 13.
“He’s been dressed by people who conducted these chat rooms to believe he was their friend.
“He Effectively ordered them on behalf of these sexually attracted to children. Due to bullying, he endured as a child he retreated into the online”