July 2017

Men jailed for setting up dark web chat room for ‘disgusting’ child sexual abuse images

Two perverts have been jailed for setting up a chat room on the dark web to distribute hundreds of thousands of “the most disgusting” child abuse images.

David Buckley, 54, and Brett McBain, 51, admitting founding now defunct #TheOtherPlace in 2014, describing it as “a channel for the respectful appreciation of youthful beauty”.

In reality, it saw up to 60 users at a time sharing links to as many as 2,500 indecent images of children in any 24-hour period, including some classed in the most severe category A.

Over two years, self-styled “King of the Castle” McBain shared 200,000 indecent images via the chat room while Buckley posted links to more than 30,000 indecent images, the Old Bailey heard.

McBain, from Balham, south London, pleaded guilty to 10 charges relating to the distribution of indecent images while Buckley, of Goole, East Yorkshire, who posed as a woman online, admitted a single charge of conspiring to distribute images with him.

Recorder Brian Altman QC sentenced McBain to five years in prison and jailed Buckley for three years.

He told the pair: “This is an extremely grave case of its kind. Particularly in the case of McBain, the very high numbers and nature of the images involved are quite simply staggering.”

He said the channel had been set up with the purpose of distributing “the most disgusting images of children one could ever imagine”.

The court heard the pair met through another similar channel on the dark web before they decided to set up their own rival operation.

They never saw each other in person and Buckley pretended to be a woman going by the user name Ladybird because he got more attention, the Old Bailey heard.

National Crime Agency officers were tipped off by Western Australian Police, who identified that someone with the username “MrBrett” was a constant presence in the chat room.

Officers found “MrBrett” was McBain and he was arrested at his Balham home in May last year while logged into #TheOtherPlace.

McBain told officers he was “officially screwed” as he was found in possession of more than 160,000 child abuse images, as well as an electronic diary that detailed his fantasies of sexually abusing children.