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Saturday, 6 April, 2002, 02:56 GMT 03:56 UK
Paedophile trapped by internet images
Computer screen
Suspected associates of Randle were also arrested
An internet paedophile has been jailed following the first surveillance operation of its kind in the UK.

David Randle was arrested by officers who pinpointed the scene of his crimes by studying the images of them he distributed via the web.

A number of other people he is believed to have networked with have also been arrested in Europe, as part of an international operation.

Randle, of Richmond Road, West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, was given six life sentences at Nottingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to a string of rapes and indecent assaults on a young girl.

'Worst images'

Nottinghamshire Police said an investigation was launched in January 2001, when colleagues in Greater Manchester became aware of a series of images circulating on the internet.

They depicted the serious sexual and physical abuse of a young girl and officers said they were among the worst they had ever seen.

Greater Manchester Police's Abusive Images Unit began analysing the images to identify and trace the scene of the crimes before Randle was arrested on January 9 this year.

The operation also involved officers from the National Criminal Intelligence Service, Interpol and Europol.

Randle pleaded guilty to six counts of rape, four indecent assaults, two counts of taking indecent images, two counts of making indecent images and two counts of distributing indecent images.

See also:

05 Apr 02 | Sci/Tech
Net creates new breed of paedophile
19 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Internet is 'paedophile playground'
17 Feb 02 | Sci/Tech
Porn watchdog under fire
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