Couple who live streamed abuse of child sentenced

30/10/2017

A couple from Plymouth were jailed for 17 years on Thursday 26th October after live streaming the abuse of a young child over the internet to a woman in America.

Craig Forbes and former partner Sarah Gotham were discovered during an FBI investigation into child abuse which led them to a woman in San Francisco, California. The woman admitted she had been contacting other paedophiles online, including Forbes and Gotham in the UK.

The FBI then alerted Devon and Cornwall Police who started an investigation into the couple.

Plymouth Crown Court heard how Forbes and Gotham carried out the abuse on several occasions between December 2012 and March 2013.

Forbes, 36, was sentenced to eight years and Gotham, 34, received nine years. Both will have to sign be on the sexual offenders register for life. 

Howard Phillips, from the CPS, said: "This was an unusual and complicated case. With the assistance of San Francisco Police Department and the FBI, the CPS was able to secure witness testimony from an American prisoner who later gave evidence in court;  as well as that with technical evidence found on devices seized in the USA was used to present a strong case. This case shows that wherever online sexual abuse is uncovered, we can work with international law enforcement agencies to pursue offenders and bring them before the courts.”

Notes:
 Howard Phillips is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS South-West.
 Craig Forbes pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault of a child. Two other counts and one count of rape will lie on file.
 Sarah Gotham denied six counts of sexual assault of a child but was convicted by a jury.