Lincolnshire men plead guilty to distributing indecent images of children

06/05/2011

Four men, including two from Lincolnshire, have pleaded guilty a number of charges of making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children crimes.

Four men, including two from Lincolnshire, have pleaded guilty a number of charges of making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children crimes described by CPS East Midlands lawyer Samantha Shallow as "perpetuating the exploitation of children for financial gain".

Ian Frost, Paul Frost, Paul Rowland and Ian Sambridge ran an internet news service providing indecent images of children to users around the world from rural Lincolnshire. They were detected and arrested thanks to a joint operation between Lincolnshire Police and the Child Exploitation and On-line Protection Unit, which also involved police forces around the UK and international law enforcement agencies.

Ms Shallow, a Crown Advocate from the Crown Prosecution Services East Midlands Complex Casework Unit said:
"The Crown Prosecution Services East Midlands Complex Casework Unit joined the investigation team at an early stage and worked closely with them. This co-operation between the prosecution agencies has resulted in producing a strong case and guilty pleas to the offences. The main aim of the prosecution was to ensure that the victims were protected from unscrupulous people whose only interest was in making money out of their vulnerability.

"Ian Frost, Paul Frost, Paul Rowland and Ian Sambridge profited over a period of years from selling indecent photographs of children to members of the public around the world.  The defendants and their customers have perpetuated the exploitation of the children depicted in those photographs for financial gain.

"This case has broken new ground as these defendants were providing access to indecent images of children on a vast scale but in the main did not have a personal interest in the images themselves. For them this was purely a way of making money. It was also the first time in the country that this distribution method, using newsgroups, has been prosecuted. The quantity and technical nature of the material seized in this case presented a major challenge for the CPS and police investigators.  The guilty pleas entered by these four defendants is testament to that work"

Ian Frost, Paul Frost and Ian Sambridge all pleaded guilty to charges of distributing indecent images of children. Paul Rowland pleaded guilty to making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

They pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court in May 2011.  Ian Frost and Paul Rowlands were sentenced to 33 months imprisonment; Paul Frost was sentenced to 15 months and Ian Sambridge was sentenced to 12 month, suspended for two years, with a 240 hour community order.