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back to article Police expert caught with abuse images

A technology expert given special clearance to examine police computers has been caught with child sex abuse images. Joseph McCabe, a 52-year-old man from Perthshire, Scotland, was jailed for 14 months following a hearing in Perth. The court heard McCabe, who was an IT consultant in human resources for the Metropolitan Police, …

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Big Brother

Trust

And these people want the right to pull the plug on websites without even needing to go through Nominet or display reasonable grounds *before* the event?

The only reason they would find all the pervy sites to close down is because they're busy browsing them for their own pleasure. I wonder if they'd download a copy before pulling the plug for all the other perverts.

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TBx

Really, Anonymous Coward ?

Anonymous Coward, you say "And these people want the right to pull the plug...... I don't think this story really justifies having a go at the police.

He was not a police officer, he was caught breaking the the law, sacked and prosecuted. Other than his crimes, what is the problem? (In relation to the story)

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Anonymous Coward

Re "He was..."

He was... the kind of person the police will be relying on to help them decide whether to pull the plug on a site or not. Or the kind of person they rely on to help them decide whether a suspect (perhaps secretly known to the 'expert' from within a group of like minded individuals) should be prosecuted or not. Nominet have to worry about their own reputation. A corrupt or inept individual working with the police will be protected as far as is possible in order to preserve the reputation of the force.

He may not have been a police officer and he may have been sacked, but who's to know what he's been doing all the time before he was sacked. I don't and neither do the police. Ultimately, he was part of that which prosecutes those who do what he himself was doing, and I'm not comfortable with that hypocrisy.

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Big Brother

Who watches the watchers?

which applies both ways in this case

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This Is A Title

"a downward spiral sparked by an interest in adult pornography"

No, absolutely not.

This is the same argument as "cannabis is a gate-way drug" and "playing violent video games made him kill". All utterly unproven and mostly derided by any rational thinking person on the planet.

You view kiddie fiddling because thats how you get your jollies, not because you found that the more pr0n you viewed, the more desensitised you got and therefore the more depraved you searched for (the argument thats being used).

I'm an adult male, i've been loitering on the world wide wibble for close on 2 decades, i've found many and varied pr0nography in that time, at times some pretty sick shit - yet I have no inclination towards kiddie pr0n. Am I weird ? Do I simply have greater mental strength than these people ? Or is this a straw-man argument once again ?

The sooner the admission is made that an inclination towards kiddie fiddling is a long-term mental issue and that there is no "cure", the better. The longer we persist in the lie that it's a phase, a curable condition or some other cock-and-bull, the longer society will stay in it's downward spiral of fear.

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Silver badge

Casuality

Exactly. It's not p0rn that makes you a pedo but it's that if you're a pedo then you will look for child p0rn.

In the same way violent computer games cannot make you a psychopath but if you are one you will look for and tend to mostly play violent games.

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Thumb Down

"The court heard...

"...McCabe, who was an IT consultant in human resources for the Metropolitan Police, found himself in a downward spiral sparked by an interest in adult pornography."

Because that makes a better exculpatory argument than "well, I like looking at pictures of naked kiddes".

It doesn't make it true, however.

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Silver badge

naked kiddies?

I just wander through classical art for those...

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Paris Hilton

Interesting circular arguments

If he was employed by the authorities to look at pornographic images on their behalf, and it seems to be acknowledged by the authorities that he was on a downward spiral, and their argument is that the more you look at porn the more depraved it has to be and you won't be able to control yourself, and as a result he ended up looking at something that is classified as illegal, and which has as a consequence ruined his employment and life, does that make it an industrial injury brought about through the employer's negligence?

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Silver badge

Am I the only one?

Who thinks they should have been supicious of any "IT consultant" who would willingly work for Human Resources?

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Silver badge
FAIL

"downward spiral sparked by an interest in adult pornography" I thought it would be upward

He should have used the defences used by other police 'experts' in other jurisdictions such as:

(a) They are my reference material; (b) I took my work home to complete because of time constraints; (c) The pictures weren't obscene in my opinion; etc.

Don't the police have in-house 'expertise'?

Question: Who rated them level 5?

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Keep an eye on him, and wait for other cases.

His "downward spiral" sounds like a great reason to firewall the UK in the same way as Australia and China. Watch out for more of this type of story once a few more people are persuaded to commit crimes of this nature.

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FAIL

AS IF...

Since it's not the government's business to censor anything; what do they care. Their laws are clearly a violation of his rights. Turn him loose and repeal your offensive laws and then we can talk about it.

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Big Brother

Whose computers?

> A technology expert given special clearance to examine police computers ...

"Police computers" or "computers seized by the police"?

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Big Brother

What's a Level 5 image?

Apparently you can be caught with the most serious type of image, a "Level 5", without anyone having a clue what a Level anything one is.

I suspect you're guilty if the pervs say you are. They throw the occasional outsider under a bus to give the impression that the system's working and we're all safe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "What's a Level 5 image?"

Indecent images in the UK are graded according to the SAP Scale, the categories of which can be easily found - here for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COPINE_scale

If you read the list you'll find that having images that rate as a category 5 definitely puts you in the "wrong 'un" category - definitely not someone who Boots reported for taking a holiday snap of their kid on the beach!

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Bronze badge

Bull shit

So looking tat nude women makes you want to see a nude 10 year old girl ? Damn better hurry up and cover up all women so men won't sin. Men can't help it after all so the women should be punished. Lets just out law sex.

Yep looking at porn turns in to a hard core druggie that kills kittens and babies.

Any one that says or thinks looking at adult porn leads to kiddie porn needs to be locked away and put on list as vulnerable adult.

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Nail - head

Innit odd that men are supposed to be stronger than women, somehow 'better', more 'able', etc. etc.

Yet it's the women who have to cover up or the men cannot control themselves.

Men are either being two-faced or just total control bastards.

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A bit of reality

Who watches the watchers? This man was not involved in investigating any thing in relation to the Police, he was purely working for them in connection with the HR department. Comments 1 and 3 are to be frank a little bit strange but hay ho!

What is a level 5? Well it is publicly available information level 1 is erotic posing, level 2 is solo masturbation or sexual activity between children, level 3 sexual activity between an adult and a child, level 4 penetrative sexual activity, level 5 is bestiality,masochism/sadism in relation to a child.

so "Apparently you can be caught with the most serious type of image, a "Level 5", without anyone having a clue what a Level anything one is" is complete nonsense. You may not know what the levels are but there is NO WAY you could be done without knowing what you had was not legal!

"Don't the police have in-house 'expertise'?" They do as do all large organisations but sometimes a new system or what ever requires some more staff on a temp basis and consultants or similar are employed. If your referring to E-Crime units which this man did not work for then yes they do.

If that sounds a bit defensive, I work for a Police Force doing computer examinations and rather sadly 90% of the work I do involves looking at indecent images and videos of child abuse (NOT porn, as porn can be "exciting") and let me tell you some of these are pretty horrific, and not once have I wanted to download and watch these for fun! Some of the comments do come from a level of understandable ignorance but it is a bit wrong to slate us in the job we do when most people could not do 6 months of this type of work never mind the years I have done.

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Silver badge

I am sorry, but

You are just plainly mistaken.

You wrote: "You may not know what the levels are but there is NO WAY you could be done without knowing what you had was not legal!"

As the recently discussed court case shows, you can be found in possession of "offending" material which most sane people don't find offending at all. In the case I mention the defendant successfully appealed but the success was due to the fact that he bought a book with the "offending" photographs in a high street shop! Had he downloaded them from the 'net - who knows what the result would be?

Just google for Sally Mann's images and see for yourself.

And, yes, I believe that anyone who considers those photographs of children pornographic or sexual in nature himself needs a psychiatric examination and counseling, at the very least. Yet these people are allowed to make laws and to pass judgments on others!

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Couldn't happen where I work

Under normal circumstances the images must show a sexualised content. Most of those images that you kindly suggested I "Googled" could be classed as concerning but concerning images don't make a case. It would have to be taken in context of the investigation.

For instance if someone was a naturist they would not be done for having naturist photographs and nothing further would be taken, however if the person had, and it could be shown to have, an interest in sexualised images of children then these could be used as concerning images but would not form the basis of a charge. You can't be charged with concerning images all they are are images of concern do to the behaviour shown.

It is very hard to get into specifics in a public forum but images that I referred to, certainly in the geographical area I work in have to be of a certain "standard" that would allow me to stand by the comment I made earlier.

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Silver badge

Thank you for the clarification

However, this demonstrate how poorly thought through and dangerous this law is.

You need to specially train a person to distinguish illegal images from legal. How can members of public be expected to be able to judge the legality of what they have if you need an expert for that? And the "standard" is not even public?

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Worrying fact

This guy was an 'IT expert' who worked for the Police. And it didn't cross his mind to hide his perversion behind TruCrypt or something? That's the real IT angle: how little one needs to know & yet be classed as an expert. <sigh>

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Bronze badge

Bulk Download

Bulk download means he just downloaded at all. There is no evidence (and no way of getting any evidence) that he actually looked at ALL the stuff he had, or at any particular bit of the stuff he had.

That is why there is a 'possession', offence, and that is why a 'possession' offence doesn't mean anything.

In particular, there is no evidence that he is a 'paedo', he wasn't convicted of being a 'paedo', and the beak didn't suggest that he was a 'paedo'.

People here who are suggesting that he is a paedophile are going way beyond anything that even the courts, the government, or the police were game to do.

Which I guess means that a lot of people really do like to see witches burn.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

There is no crime of "looking at images" it is one of "possession" and a crime of "creating"(which includes when an image is saved onto PC/media etc it is "created")

You can not prove who has looked at images downloaded unless there is a camera recording the act but you can tell the difference between a file that has been downloaded and one that has been downloaded and accessed at a later date.

In these cases the press never has the full evidence reported, there is usually far more than "these were on the computer"

A possession offence does mean something, you don't get 14 months and the sex offenders register for 10 years for nothing!

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Anonymous Coward

Another sicko for the bonfire.

Men face temptation all the time. I lost count of the number of adolescent girls I saw trying to push the boundaries during their experimental phase with me and my mates (when I was young and thin.) But none of us ever fell for the jailbait. It's just not on.

That said, you can read all the sick filth you like so far as I'm concerned, just as long as you don't act on it.

I view lesbianism, heterosexuality, homosexuality, paedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, sadomasochism, foot fetishes, and virtually other sexual preference as within the range of human behaviour. It's just some have victims, and are out of order. Kiddie porn is out of order. The kids can't say no.

That said, the problem is never going to be solved by the liberal minded. We should just lynch them in front of baying crowds. It would make the vast majority of men who pay for the sentencing guidelines "experts" at the MoJ who have created the society we live in, qute entertained, methinks.

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Silver badge

Where's Chris Morris when you need him?

as per title.

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Anonymous Coward

Off his face

...on Cake, probably.

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Silver badge

Broken logic

They want to have their cake and eat it - if it's really true that looking at images makes you do what that image shows, shouldn't an interest in looking at _adults_ make you want to do things with, you know, adults?

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No mention of

sex offender registration ? Or is it automatic ?

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Sex offender register

He was added to the sex offender register for 10 years

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