Page last updated at 13:47 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 14:47 UK

Scotland's largest paedophile web

Colin Slaven, Craig Boath, James Rennie,  John Milligan, John Murphy, Neil Strachan, Ross Webber and  Neil Campbell
The men are (top, left to right) Colin Slaven, Craig Boath, James Rennie, John Milligan, (bottom, left to right) John Murphy, Neil Strachan, Ross Webber and Neil Campbell

As Richard Harper searched through a computer hard drive sent to his Berkshire shop from Edinburgh, he spotted a file tagged "young boys".

The 23-year-old opened the file and discovered pictures of a naked boy aged about 11 on the screen - an image which sparked an 18-month police inquiry into a paedophile network.

The PC had been sent by Edinburgh man Neil Strachan, an engineer for Crown Paints.

He and seven other men were convicted of a range of charges after a lengthy trial.

NEIL STRACHAN

Neil Strachan

Neil Strachan, a 41-year-old service engineer, was found guilty of eight charges after the lengthy trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He sparked Operation Algebra when he left a computer disk with indecent images of children in the computer he put in for repair.

The technicians called in the police and detectives began the moves which would trap the gang.

It led officers to Strachan's home in Duff Street, in the Dalry area of Edinburgh, on 9 November 2007 - a home he shared with his on-off boyfriend, Colin Slaven.

Strachan was arrested that day, and six days later Slaven was also detained.

Strachan was convicted of attempting to rape an 18-month old boy, of sexually assaulting a six year old boy, and of sexually assaulting another child.

He was also convicted of possessing, taking, distributing, and possessing with intent to distribute indecent photos of children, and of conspiring to meet other men to sexually abuse a child.

COLIN SLAVEN

Colin Slaven

Colin Slaven, a 24-year-old IT worker, was found guilty of three charges. Slaven had been Strachan's on-off boyfriend since he was 16.

Police had seized a laptop which Slaven admitted belonged to him and which contained child pornography.

Slaven, who was once employed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board, was convicted of possessing, taking and possessing with intent to distribute indecent photos of children.

CRAIG BOATH

Craig Boath

Insurance adjuster Craig Boath, 24, from Dundee, was convicted of six charges. He was found to have 31,385 indecent images.

They included 1,261 stills and 15 video clips graded at the most depraved end of the scale.

He was arrested on 27 March last year at his home after officers discovered e-mails between him and James Rennie sharing child pornography.

He was convicted of possessing, taking and distributing indecent photos of children, and of conspiring to meet Strachan, Rennie, Webber and Milligan to sexually abuse a child.

JAMES RENNIE

James Rennie

James Rennie, who was the chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland when he was caught by police, was found guilty of 14 charges.

Rennie's emails to Strachan were traced to him by an MI5 specialist.

Rennie, 38, also from Edinburgh, was using the alias "kplover". He told police it stood for kiddie porn lover.

Officers found images of Rennie, also a trained teacher, sexually assaulting a boy as young as three months old.

He was convicted of of sexually assaulting a child and of possessing, taking and distributing indecent photos of children.

He was also found guilty of conspiring to meet Strachan, Webber, Boath and Milligan to sexually abuse a child.

JOHN MILLIGAN

John Milligan

John Milligan, a 40-year-old civil servant from the Govan area of Glasgow, was found guilty of eight charges at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He was discovered to have 78,289 indecent images, including 748 stills and 141 video clips at the top end of the scale.

He was arrested on 23 May last year at his home after being traced through e-mails with Rennie.

He was convicted of conspiring to meet Strachan, Rennie, Webber and Boath to sexually abuse a child, and of possessing, taking and distributing indecent photos of children.

JOHN MURPHY

John Murphy

John Murphy, a trained teacher from Glasgow, was found guilty of five charges. The 44-year-old worked as a receptionist in a gay sauna.

He was found with 177 indecent images in his Govanhill flat.

He had his home searched by officers on 16 April last year after being traced through e-mails with Rennie. His computer was seized and he was arrested on 4 July last year.

Murphy was convicted of possessing, taking and distributing indecent photos of children.

ROSS WEBBER

Ross Webber

Ross Webber, a bank worker from North Berwick in East Lothian, was found guilty of five charges. The 27-year-old had 188 indecent images on his computer.

He was arrested on 5 January last year after computer checks found he had received child pornography from Rennie.

Two computers and CDs were recovered from his home.

He was convicted of conspiring to meet Milligan, Strachan, Rennie and Boath to sexually abuse a child, and of possessing, taking and distributing indecent photos of children.

NEIL CAMPBELL

Neil Campbell

Cake firm manager Neil Campbell was found guilty of five charges. The 46-year-old church elder had 928 indecent images of children at his home in Bearsden, near Glasgow.

He was traced by computer experts to his home on 29 March last year after sharing images with Rennie.

Officers searched his home and seized a computer before Campbell, who was married, was arrested at the address two days later.

He was convicted of possessing, taking, distributing, and possessing with intent to distribute indecent photos of children.



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PAEDOPHILE NETWORK
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BACKGROUND
Screenshot of software used to trace Rennie and Strachn Network smashed
The operation which tracked down Rennie and Strachan
THE COURT CASE
TRIAL PART 1
 

TRIAL PART 2
 

AUDIO/VIDEO
Neil Strachan Child abuse ringleaders jailed

The Assistant Chief Constable of Lothian & Borders Police, Ian Livingsto Police on child abuser sentences

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