Online ‘technology platforms’ must do more to keep children safe the NSPCC has said after an undercover police operation led to the arrest and imprisonment of a Yaxley paedophile.
Nicholas Slack, (26), of Dundee Crest in Yaxley, near Peterborough, was arrested on December 7 last year.
Slack was identified as using websites to share indecent images of children with other users as well as arranging with another adult to travel to Kent to sexually abuse three children.
An NSPCC spokesperson told the Peterborough Telegraph: “Sharing images of child abuse fuels demand for this material and leads to more children being harmed. Slack is rightly behind bars for his sickening crimes.
“We must never forget that children have been sexually abused to create these vile images and the crushing effects will be life-changing.
“While Slack has been brought to justice, technology platforms must do more to keep children safe. They must realise that they are used to distribute online child sexual abuse images and make a serious commitment to tackling the problem.”
In interview, Slack initially denied any wrongdoing, however when he was advised he needed to start telling the truth, he said what he had done was ‘shameful and didn’t want to admit it’.
He proceeded to tell officers how he’d set up an email account in February that year (2016) and that his sexual interest in children started when he was about 16, out of curiosity. He spoke about his preference of young girls aged between eight and 10-years-old and how he would speak to other men online about indecent images of children and sexual fantasies.
Two or three weeks prior to his arrest, Slack had been in regular communication with a woman he believed would help give him access to children. Detectives learnt how Slack had planned to visit the woman and her three children in order to carry out sexual fantasies with them.
Slack denied any intent of carrying out these plans and told officers he stopped the communication as it got too serious and he knew what he was doing was wrong.
On the same day of his arrest (December 7) he was charged with attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence, three counts of distributing indecent images of children and two counts of making indecent images of children.
He pleaded guilty to all charges and on Friday (February 10) appeared at Cambridge Crown Court for and was sentenced to five years, extended for a further three years, for the charge of attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence. He was sentenced to 18 months for each of the remaining five charges, to run concurrently.
In sentencing Judge Hawksworth said to Slack: “I have to consider dangerousness, I have come to the conclusion that you are dangerous and there is an immediate risk and that this risk can only be properly addressed through an extended sentence.”
He has also been placed on the sex offenders register for life, and made subject of a life-long Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
Detective Sergeant James Weston, from the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), said: “Slack is a very dangerous individual who has an extremely unhealthy interest in children, particularly mid-pubescent girls.
“I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for all involved in this investigation, particularly for their dedication and professionalism displayed.
“This required a lot of work from both the POLIT and the Digital Forensic Unit (DFU) and has resulted in a very dangerous, predatory paedophile who was planning to sexually abuse children being removed from society for eight years.”
Anyone with concerns about a child can call our helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children can contact Childline anytime on 0800 1111.