Feeds

back to article School worker jailed for abuse images

A secondary school IT support worker has been jailed for 32 months for possessing and making thousands of child sex abuse images and videos. Oliver Corbett, 25, from Dishforth, North Yorkshire, was sentenced at York Crown Court yesterday. Corbett was arrested in September 2009 and had 62,000 images and 1,585 videos of children, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

So much

for CRS checks etc then

3
3
WTF?

Telepathy-enabled CRB:

I'm sure the checks will be upgraded to include telepathy at some point, but until that time we'll need to wait until an offence has been recorded against an individual. Next time he applies for a job working with children he won't be so lucky.

7
1

Well duuh..

No level of check will discover these people before they've committed an offence will it?

8
2
Dead Vulture

So let me get this right

The abuse images he had were on his home computer, and none of the children involved were at the school he worked at, so what is the relevance of his place of work? Whilst I in no way condone any sort of child abuse, if he did the same job somewhere else, would we see headlines like 'Print Company Worker Jailed...', or 'Warehouse Worker...'?

I generally find El Reg to be fairly balanced and non-sensationalist, but his is the sort of headline I'd expect to see on one of the more low-brow red-tops on the news stand. Are you going to start running stories about Princess Di next?

3
5
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: So let me get this right

Er, he's a school worker who has been jailed for abuse images. I don't see how that's sensationalist.

6
2
WTF?

Oh, ok then

So would you allow him to keep his job then? After all, it's not relevant, is it?

Put another way, would you allow a fox into a henhouse on the basis that it had only ever eaten hens from other farms?!

2
2
Boffin

My point is...

...that if he worked anywhere other than a school, his place of work would most likely not have been mentioned, let alone as the first two words of the headline. The fact that he did work at a school was entirely irrelevant to the details of the case, other than that there would have been children present at his place of work. AFAIK, as an IT worker rather than a teacher, he wouldn't even have had any real interaction with children anyway.

The problem I have here, and why I consider this to be sensationalist, is that this sort of headline encourages idiots to respond with "OMG won't somebody think of the children". This sort of thing is then taken up by politicians looking for a populist vote, and ends up with ill-thought out and dangerous legislation being passed that restricts people's freedoms and does nothing to tackle the actual problem here. Enough bad laws have already been passed in the name of 'protecting children' and 'preventing terrorism', without adding fuel to that particular fire.

So, it may seem to you that it is a little over the top for me to complain about your headline, but to quote Thomas Jefferson (albeit possibly out of context), 'the price of freedom is eternal vigilance'.

11
3
Bronze badge

Well

Pilot jailed for flying while drunk when off-duty.

Care home worker jailed for beating his mother at home.

This guy was working in very close proximity to children (I, too, am an IT guy in schools - contact is obviously not allowed but you are still defined as being in a position of trust and you still have access to children - the chances are that he had *unsupervised* access to children many times during the working day - where unsupervised means that nobody adult was in sight), in a child-exclusive "protected" environment, after undergoing specific, extended criminal records checks to ensure that people with histories don't even come *close* to getting that sort of access to that number of (potentially vulnerable) children.

If you work in a school, and ever do anything illegal related to children, you will not have a job in that industry again. The specific position may not matter, but the workplace / industry does. However, it's better PR for the school if he was announced as an IT Technician rather than, say, a special needs support worker or a classroom teacher who have yet-more unsupervised access to children, or even if the school did not announce what his position was. "School worker jailed for abuse" prompts all sorts of parental riots at the school in question, announcing that they are "only the caretaker" or "only the IT guy" takes a lot of the heat from the school and calms a lot of the fears of parents (but obviously not all). Read any of these stories and you'll find that the school are quick to provide comments about how distant his contact was, how little they were in school, how new they are to the school, etc. so it appears as a temporary mistake that would have been found out anyway, rather than a long-term risk.

3
2
Stop

I woudl have thought

That the practicalities of him being in gaol would prevent him from performing the duties of his job, wherever he happens to work, so I would expect him to lose the job due to being a convict, rather than the details of what he was convicted of. After leaving prison, he would be on an offenders register, so would not be able to gain employment in a school anyway. Of course I am not suggesting that a convicted paedophile should be allowed to work in a school, and you seem to be deliberately misrepresenting me here. My point is that his place of employment was irrelevant in this case, as there was no connection between that, and his crime, which was not carried out there, and did not involve the children there.

As to your second paragraph:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

1
1
FAIL

he worked at a school and had child porn

you don't think there was a reason he worked at a school and not at a warehouse? I think it sounds quite obvious why he worked at a school, even though there is no formal connection

2
3
Thumb Down

I have to confess

If there was a place where I would think the "omg think of the children" argument would be valid, it would be in a case involving child pornography.

Silly me.

1
1
Silver badge
Grenade

I kinda agree with AC on this one

The title of the article DOES seem to imply that the fact that he was working at a school at the time of the offence was related to the offence involved.

We read later in the article that this is not the case at all. It was an interesting and pertinent side-issue.

I say the accusation of unnecessary sensationalism stands.

Surely the fact that someone is duplicating and distributing images of child abuse is disturbing enough anyway?

1
1
Black Helicopters

OMG

How did he get around the rigorous CRB checks? Obviously being such a high level hacker with such a "powerful" machine he must have found a way around it.

Clearly what we need are even harder checks. Maybe some kind of vetting system?

Oh by the way I'm being sarcastic.

1
0
Coat

OMG - SENSATIONAL......

Would that be sarcastic in a sensationalist manner?

0
0

Re: Well duuh..

"No level of check will discover these people before they've committed an offence will it?"

Arguably, they'd not only have to have committed the offence, they'd also have to have been caught.

3
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

@ So let me get this right...

Guess you forgot to engage brain before posting eh?

0
0
FAIL

Very talented NOT

"very talented young man"

Obviously not that talented if he didnt even use something like truecrypt.

1
0
Boffin

As someone who works in the relevant field...

Truecrypt won't always save your bacon.

RIPA pt3 can be issued which requires a suspect to provide passwords etc, or receive a fixed jail term - which, in this case, would have been similar to his actual sentence

In relation to this actual job, i find the sentence handed out for this quantity of CP to be offensive in itself

0
0
Grenade

at which point....

...you enter your non hidden partition p/w

They can scream and moan that you must have a hidden container but there is no proof

0
0
Paris Hilton

The real question..

..if he's an IT expert with a killer setup how did they find his stash?

Did he have it all unencrypted, or was he paying via a credit card for some site, or left it all on an old laptop Gary Glitter style.

Doesn't seem much of an IT expert to me.

/even Paris can Google "truecrypt".

3
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Guilty of having graphics files, not paedophilia

Another conviction under a stupid law. He was a support worker and no doubt had little, in any, interaction with children.

Pity "The equipment set-up contained within his bedroom would put many professional IT systems to shame" didn't include TrueCrypt.

7
4
FAIL

All Nerds are Pervs

IT experts, i.e. the kind of person who knows the difference between the Internet and Microsoft Internet Explorer or can actually decipher some HTML source code, tend be rather nerdish and are thus biogenetically susceptible to sexual perversion and feel insecure with consenting adults of the age group. I would suggest as a purely precautionary measure arresting all IT Experts and scanning their hard drives for naughty imagery. The only downside is we will have to rely on some IT experts to perform this task.

I bet some of these IT experts do some really outlandish things like install non-Microsoft operating systems... Perverts, the lot of 'em. I'm organising an anti-Paediatrician demo outside Google's UK offices tomorrow. t has a high concentration of IT experts, most of them paedos of some sort.

1
2
Silver badge
Thumb Down

"and making"?

I, in no way, support or condone kiddie porn or the abuse of children etc,, but did he actually take any photos himself, or is this the BS of "downloading a picture or video is classed as 'making' it"?

4
2
WTF?

You ARE making it.

You make a copy of it on your hard-drive.

What would you call it?

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

@What would you call it?

If I download a Linux distro, am I "making" Linux? I don't think so, I think I'm downloading it.

What would you call it?

3
0
FAIL

Think you're missing the point

But i'm tired and can't be arsed arguing with you.

You are still yet to come up with a better legal term for 'making a copy of a file from the internet'.

Feel free to forward it to your local nick, along with your hard-drive

0
3
Paris Hilton

Re: Think you're missing the point

"You are still yet to come up with a better legal term for 'making a copy of a file from the internet'."

'copying'.

1
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Think you've run out of arguments...

... that's why you're running away from this one with a desperate grab for the Burden of Proof Fallacy (not to mention a pathetic attempt to imply that because I disagree with you, I must have kiddie porn on my hard drive).

It is not up to me to come up with a "better term" for "making" here, it's up to you to demonstrate that this is actually "making" something, a term which I think most people would generally accept to imply "creating an original work", ie in this case actually taking photographs of a child, which is clearly not what is happening.

2
0

I call statistics

From the police website:

"Three North Yorkshire Police officers spent four months sifting through six million images and found more than 62,000 indecent images of children and 1,585 similar videos."

Over SIX MILLION images. On an IT geek's computer. Unencrypted. You know what that says to me? Automated leeching. And of those SIX MILLION images, 1% were suspect. I call that a statistical anomaly, not systematic child abuse.

Let's assume he started downloading porn at, say, age 13. That's 500,000 images per year; 1,369 per day. Giving him 8 hours sleep makes ~86 images per hour; or 1.4 images every waking minute for the last 12 years.

Do they honestly think that he saw and downloaded all these himself?

9
2
Anonymous Coward

probably a developer of the best search engine ever was nicked

yeha i agree if he had some amazing set up that "would put it experts to shame" quite likely he had some spidering operation goin on. although clarifying what is meant by "making" would go a long way.

3
0
Grenade

i think you'll find...

That in order to get the prosecution through, a demonstration will have been made to show intent to obtain/maintain these images, i.e. not an anomaly.

Often such images are organised very well by a perp, in directories and by suspected age, etc.

0
0
WTF?

Noise

I'd like to know what this setup was. And his in bedroom? Unless he was deaf it couldn't have been that great, all my servers etc had to go in my basement and even then you could hear them in the living room, let alone having it all in my bedroom....hello insominia

0
0
Silver badge

WTF?

Six MILLION images? And Police actually looked through them ALL? God, and I find it tedious to look through a gigabyte of photos in my DCIM folder!

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Gold badge

Six million?

That's got to be about one internet worth of porn!

I'm with Raumkraut on this one though, I bet he was just pulling alt.sex.binaries.* or something, although this does bring up the question why the police showed up to look at his computer to begin with.

1
0

6 Million images

Bloody hell. Was he running his own porn website? over 50K Kiddie images big fail and only 32 months for it. Well I take solace in the treatment he will be getting in gaol

0
1
WTF?

Yes, let's split hairs about it

I'm sure his lawyers will be pleading the speculative statistical case, in court, and that the evidence collected against him will just pale in comparison.

Actually, no, I don't see that working out, for him.

0
0
Flame

@heyrick

Let's face it spendingmonths searching through pr0n is a better use of police time than responding to 999 calss for burglary, muggings etc.

Sarcastic? Moi?

Having had my car broken into ... well you know the rest, police too busy to respond etc.

Now I know what they were doing.

2
1
Grenade

Get your facts right

The majority of people employed in this field, by the Police, are civilians - not police officers.

Why don't you get off your arse, pull yourself away from Halo: Reach and set up some Neighbourhood Watch scheme if you want to 'catch burglars'.

If you can tell me where the burglars are going to strike next, i'll be there! However, in the meantime, i'll be filling out unnecessary forms and updating 3 antiquated computer systems due to the lack of funding before patrolling in a clapped out 1.4l diesel astra.

I think you overestimate the capabilities of the police and should start taking some personal responsibility for looking after oneself and property.

/rant.

(sorry. bad day at the office. i just spent 12 months investigating a burglar and the courts gave them community service order)

1
0
Silver badge

@ Officer AC

I don't think AC 09:01 necessarily meant to imply it's individual police who decide sifting through porn is a more worse while than stopping burglaries. Rather, it looks to me like you are both in agreement that resources being wasted in various ways.

As your last point, I'd be irritated too. Something is wrong when I guy gets 32 months for having the wrong kind of porn while I burglar gets a slap on the wrist.

0
0
FAIL

leave Truecrypt out of this!

5 posts on Truecrypt as if this is the solution to riskless child porn? - Did you not think that his internet connection was capable of being monitored? The police would have known a good deal of his material, they just encouraged him to surrender it. It had to be SOMEWHERE.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

So Tor then?

Yeah, seriously, it's a little weird how fast Truecrypt comes up every time. But I suppose it's for three reasons: it's free, effective, and has a "Hidden Volume" feature, which theoretically protects you from RIPA, etc.

That said, I suspect it wouldn't have helped in this particular case. It's not clear what he was doing, but from the bits and pieces we're getting it sounds more like he was running a live server of some kind. If so, encryption would do no good as long as the fuzz had the sense not to shut it off before analyzing it.

0
0

Spin or facts

The report follows the usual identikit format. Is it one of these forms that the police (with some justification) get so annoyed by? A fill in the blanks press release?

Now consider what the report actually says rather than what it implies.

62,000 images and 1,585 videos of children. It does not say that they were pornographic. I have a large collection of press cuttings so it would not surprise me if I have a similar number of images of children. The BBC vastly more of both.

The offence includes far more than just pornography. It is likely that many of the images he was convicted for were not pornographic. Indeed (although unlikely) it is possible that none were. Many, perhaps most, family photo albums contain photographs of dubious legality.

From the information available we do not actually know that any of the images and videos were pornographic and we do not know how many were found to be illegal. The definition of the offence is vague and the exact nature of the offence committed is inherently secret. That is inherently dangerous.

1
0
Silver badge
Dead Vulture

Sloppy reporting

On El Reg's part, sadly. As another comment pointed out, the original report here:

http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4898

says there were six million(!) images, 62,000 of which were "indecent". So your point still stands, just at a different order of magnitude.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Make != Make.

"You make a copy of it on your hard-drive. What would you call it?"

I'd call it 'making a copy of existing child pornography' as opposed to 'making (new) child pornography'.

As an aside: Just because one can put the word 'make' in front of some action doesn't mean that action bears any resemblance to any other 'make' action (which raises further questions as to the kind of culpability you may find yourself answering to). If I assist in making a baby and also assist in making a cake, for example, are there any resemblances between the two sets of actions required? If not then why treat them the same?

Of course because paedophilia is one of those touchy areas there's a tendency for people to start carrying on as if "it's all the same". Well it isn't (regardless of what the law says). If you drove the getaway car that's one thing. If you held up the bank and stuck a gun in someone's face that's another thing entirely. The law is supposed to be able to make fine distinctions like this. It's just a shame this law doesn't.

2
0
This topic is closed for new posts.