31 children rescued as UK police shut down global paedophile ring

Monday, June 18, 2007

Timothy Cox, identified as the ringleader.
Image: Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

Police in the United Kingdom have shut down a global internet paedophile ring in a ten month operation that involved 700 suspects in 35 different countries, some of whom remain at large. 31 children have been rescued from their abusers.

Sky News crime correspondent Martin Brunt said it could well be the biggest internet paedophile operation ever mounted in the UK. It was led by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

Timothy Cox, 28, from Buxhall, near Stowmarket, UK, has been identified as the ringleader and has been sentenced to an indefinite jail term. He hosted the network the paedophiles used to communicate, a web chatroom called Kids The Light Of Our Lives, on which they swapped photos and videos of child sex abuse. Some attacks were broadcast live over the internet.

Judge Peter Thompson said that Cox posed a significant risk and had to be sent to jail for the protection of the public. He will not be considered for release until such time as he has persuaded the authorities that he is no longer a threat to the community. Such a term could mean that he is never released.

Cox himself was found to have 75,960 indecent and explicit images on his computer and police found evidence he supplied at least 11,491 images to other paedophiles over the chatroom, on which he used the identity "Son of God". He admitted to nine counts of possessing or distributing images of children. Since his arrest in September, authorities worldwide have been infiltrating the network and collecting evidence against the other members, culminating in today's announcement.