June 2007

Paedophile arrested after trick advertisement

A paedophile was arrested after answering a trick advertisement placed by police, a court was told today.

Detectives closed down a “sickening” paedophile website and arrested the operator, Luton Crown Court was told.

Then they emailed users asking for a volunteer to run the site – and Gordon McIntosh stepped forward.

McIntosh, 33, of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire was today jailed for an indeterminate period after admitting distributing, making and possessing indecent images of children.

Judge Richard Foster said McIntosh was a public danger and must stay in prison until experts decided it was safe to free him.

The site had thousands of users worldwide and contained images of the most severe abuse of children.

Youngsters featured included babies, the court heard.

Police found more than 1,000 still images of abused children on McIntosh’s computer and more than 350 moving images.

The judge said the images were “sickening”.

Michael Oliver, for McIntosh, said his client had found the site in summer 2006 – shortly before police moved in.

“He visited some weeks before the police arrested the operator and took it over themselves,” said Mr Oliver.

“The police put out a request themselves for someone to take over from the original owner – they masqueraded as the original owner. And he (McIntosh) replied.”

Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hanlon, a member of one of Hertfordshire Police’s major crime units, added after the hearing: “He had never been arrested before. He was very shocked when we came into his house.”

Detectives said McIntosh was a professional computer technician who lived alone and accessed websites from his home.