19 January 2018
A former nurse today became the sixth man sentenced for offences committed in an internet chatroom where users watched a live broadcast of a child being raped.
Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) identified Michael Brown, 49, of St Neots, Cambridgeshire, and five others following an investigation into the broadcast.
Today he was sentenced to 4 years at Cambridge Crown Court after admitting three counts of intentionally encouraging or assisting the showing of indecent images of children. He will also subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and has been placed on the sex offenders register.
Brown, who worked at Hitchingbrooke Hospital at the time of his arrest, was behind the usernames perv and pervnpoppers. He was logged in to the chat room while the rape was streamed in July 2015 by the abuser, William Chandler Augusta, from Pennsylvania.
Augusta was sentenced for a range of offences and could spend up to 30 years in jail. His victim was identified by police officers in the US and protective measures have been taken.
Matt Sutton, operations manager at the NCA, said: “Michael Brown was in a position of trust, working as a nurse in hospital.
“He was supposed to be caring for people but he was actively encouraging his online acquaintances to share images of child abuse. Every child in those images is victimised again when they are shared.
Brown’s conviction follows that of Philip Crabtree, 36, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, who emailed sick instructions to Augusta as he carried out the abuse.
Former primary school teacher Wayne Brookes, 43, of Weston-super-Mare, youth worker Darren Williams, 43, of Newport, and Stephen Wilkie, 52, of Ealing, London, were jailed after they were found to be online in the chatroom as the rape was streamed.
Christian Johnson Lueking, 36, of Raynes Park, London, who was not online during the attack but logged on shortly after has also been convicted.
The NCA has identified that the sharing and live streaming of child abuse on a variety of platforms in real time is a growing threat and as a result, UK law enforcement is responding to a significant increase in the reporting of child sexual exploitation.
Matt Sutton added: “The NCA and its partners in law enforcement are wholly committed to tackling this threat and at all times the safety of children is our priority.
“We and our partners in policing are trained and equipped with specialist capabilities with which to detect these people.
“Those who offend in this way will be found and brought to justice.”