Man Jailed for Using Russian Darknet Pedophile Site
A previously convicted pedophile received three years in prison for downloading and distributing child abuse media. The defendant, a 32-year-old Scottish man, downloaded roughly 2,000 pictures and videos of child abuse. The police said almost 500 of the images or videos were of the most serious category of digital child abuse content. Instead of one of the more prolific darknet sites like Playpen or Elysium, the convicted pedophile had used a Russian child pornography website.
In 2010, Craig Robertson (also referred to as Craig Bence), spent time in jail for similar crimes. In fact, the 10 months he spent in custody after his 2010 sentencing at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for “an almost identical offence.” According to the government, Robertson was still under a “strict court order” that was designed to prevent further violations.
Robertson ultimately caught child pornography charges on account of an unrelated incident—according to the police. Law enforcement opted for the “entered his home for unrelated reasons” options when the time for their disclosure drew near. While this may very well have been the actual occurrence, law enforcement also alleged that Alphabay fell due to a multi-year old email address that had not been independently confirmed at the time off their announcement. Parallel construction is a real occurrence. Regardless of whether or not police officers entered Robertson’s house for an unreported and unrelated reason, officers found material evidence on his computer.
A fiscal deputy told Dundee Sheriff Court that Robertson had said that he had used a cell phone to access a Russian darknet website that hosted cookies abuse content. “He would then use this messaging app to connect with other users and send the images to them,” she said. “He admitted being attracted to children.”
“He would then use this messaging app to connect with other users and send the images to them,” Sheriff Alastair Brown heard. “He was in contact with other people with a similar interest and had file sharing software on his computer, which is how the charge of sharing or distributing came about.”
The specific number of images and videos downloaded from the Russian darknet site or received from other pedophiles in his chat groups is unclear. News articles varied and authors misinterpreted the news released prior to their own publication. However, it appears as if the confusion came from an initial estimate of “more than 2,000” images on the computer.
One of his arrests for what was effectively the same crime involved 2,000+ images and the other involved ~1,750—but, that number only became clear after a forensic examination. Courtroom details of the latest case offer little guidance when looking at the numbers in this case. However, the number of “Category A” images and videos were made very clear; Robertson had 229 videos in said category and 217 still photographs. “Category A” contains above media of the “top level of seriousness,” the authorities noted.
Sheriff Alastair Brown sentenced Robertson to three years in prison and a lifetime on the sex offender registry. “Every one of these images represents the actual abuse of a real child. By providing an audience for them you encourage that abuse and by distributing them you make it worse,” the court official concluded.