Creative Destruction

February 5, 2007

Paedophile trio locked up on chat room evidence

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Current Events — Daran @ 2:37 pm

Unprecedented convictions

Three paedophiles who used internet chat rooms to plot to kidnap and rape two sisters were jailed for a total of 27 years at Southern Crown Court on Monday.

David Beavan, 42, of Bransgore, Hampshire, Alan Hedgcock, 41, of Twickenham, and Robert Mayers, 42, of Warrington, had never met. Hedgcock, who was given an eight year sentence, used an incest-themed chat room to tell Beavan, who was handed 11 years imprisonment, of his plan to abuse sisters aged 13 and 14. Beavan indicated he wanted to join the attack, and the pair later recruited Mayers via the internet too.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin, QC, said the mens’ conversations were “most lurid and disgusting”, the BBC reports.

The logs came to light when police confiscated computers after Beavan told Bournemouth police about the plot in January 2006, claiming he was a “vigilante” gathering evidence. They revealed a detailed history of the plan, including the discussions of their targets, where and how the crime would take place, as well as thousands of child porn images.

Outside court, Detective Constable Dave Adams, of the Met’s child abuse investigation command, said: “This case should act as a really stark warning that the internet is not a hiding place to plan and participate in criminal acts.”

My bold. I should also be a stark warning to anyone who has gotten involved in such a plot, perhaps thinking that it was just a fantasy, and who becomes concerned that ones co-fantasists are actually planning to carry the offence out. Do not, whatever you do, scotch the plan by reporting it to the police. Not only will you be prosecuted, but you’ll get three years longer than the person whose idea it originally was.

I’m not saying that this was the case with Beaven. Nor do I necessarily buy his claim to have been a “vigilante”, but it seems very odd that someone who had acted to frustrate the plot should be the one most severely punished.

(Crossposted between Feminist Critics and Creative Destruction.)

3 Comments »

  1. […] (Crossposted between Feminist Critics and Creative Destruction.) […]

    Pingback by Feminist Critics — February 5, 2007 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  2. Hardly unprecedented. People have been prosecuted for conspiracy and attempt for centuries.

    All that distinguishes this from your plain vanilla case is that the evidence is in writing.

    Fantasies rarely involve people plotting to kidnap and rape non-celebrities who really exist, or highly detailed plans that could be carried out.

    The law of disavowing a conspiracy is detailed and without knowing more of the facts it is hard to say what motivated the sentencing judge. Clearly, the judge didn’t buy the vigilante theory.

    Comment by ohwilleke — February 6, 2007 @ 1:52 am | Reply

  3. The law of disavowing a conspiracy is detailed and without knowing more of the facts it is hard to say what motivated the sentencing judge. Clearly, the judge didn’t buy the vigilante theory.

    Clearly he didn’t, and as I said, neither did I. However I can think of no stronger mitigating factor than that the conspiritor reported it to the police so as to allow them both to foil the plot, and apprehend the plotters. That goes way beyond mere “disavowal”.

    Comment by Daran — February 6, 2007 @ 6:43 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: