Man who ran child abuse sites along with British-Indian jailed in UK

London, Feb 15 (IANS) A mechanic who created and moderated sites dedicated to child sexual abuse on the dark web with an Indian-origin doctor and several others working for him, has been jailed for 16 years in the UK.

Nathan Bake, 28, from Cheshire, was one of three UK-based moderators of a site called ‘The Annex’, and worked with around 30 staff members to enforce the site’s rules and ensure it continued to run smoothly.

He was sentenced on Wednesday at Chester Crown Court to 16 years imprisonment, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life, and given a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

As the head moderator, Bake was second in command of The Annex, which is no longer active, and had around 90,000 global members who used it to share and discuss some of the most extreme kinds of abuse material, involving ‘hurtcore’ and the sexual abuse of babies and toddlers.

Kabir Garg, a 33-year-old Indian-origin psychiatrist from London, was one of the staff members and sat just below Bake in the site’s hierarchy as one of the moderators.

He was jailed for six years last year after pleading guilty to eight charges, including facilitating the sexual exploitation of children, three counts each of making and distributing indecent images of children, and possession of prohibited images.

New users of The Annex would first be held in the ‘gateway’ where they would have to impress and gain the trust of the site’s administrators by posting a certain amount of abuse material, before being granted access to the wider site.

Bake, Garg, and other moderators would advise members on techniques to evade law enforcement detection and encourage them to keep the site busy by sharing links to child abuse content.

“Bake was one of a select number of individuals who played a vital role in ensuring The Annex continued to run and was able to facilitate child sexual abuse on a global scale,” said Daniel Waywell, Senior Investigating Officer from the National Crime Agency (NCA).

NCA officers arrested Bake at his home in Runcorn in November 2022 and seized several devices, including laptops, phones, USBs, and external hard drives.

They gathered evidence from his devices which proved Bake was co-creator of a second child abuse site and was also the head moderator of a directory-style page, which contained links to further abuse forums on the dark web.

Hundreds of thousands of indecent images and videos of children were also recovered from his storage devices, as was the 576-page paedophile manual.

Bake pleaded guilty to 12 counts in November 2023, including facilitating the sexual exploitation of children, participating in an organised crime group, possession of a paedophile manual, and distributing and making indecent images of children.

Like Blake, Garg was also given a Serious Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

He was arrested from his flat in Lewisham in November, 2022 at a time when the site was open on his laptop.

Investigations showed that Garg was responsible for enforcing the rules of the site and removing members who did not comply.

Over 7,000 images and videos of child abuse were also recovered, along with messages that showed him applying for, and being promoted to, a site moderator rank with greater responsibility and access.

Adam Priestley from the National Crime Agency said that as a doctor of psychiatry, Garg knew full well the devastating impact and trauma that abuse causes children, but this did not deter him.



Back to top button