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.)