A former Ministry of Defence employee who used his IT skills to source and download child abuse images on the dark web, including rape and torture videos of babies, has been jailed for 16 months.
Phillip Nutt, 53, of Horfield, Bristol, had almost 300 indecent images and videos on his phone and computers, when National Crime Agency officers arrested him at a holiday home in Cornwall last year.
Further searches identified that he also used cloud based accounts overseas where he allowed videos to be accessed by others. The accounts hosted 18,641 files across 445 folders.
With the support of international law enforcement partners, NCA officers were able to view a folder labelled ‘Incest’ which contained hundreds of indecent videos of children – ranging from Category A, the most serious, to Category C.
Some of the videos lasted up to two hours and showed the torture and rape of babies and young children.
NCA digital forensic analysis found that Nutt frequently accessed the dark web, and had a secure image storage facility on his phone disguised as a calculator.
He was careful about hiding his content and described having ‘a scare’ when pictures accidentally transferred onto his main hard drive.
In one chat with another user he stated – “I have everything secured and no one can see unless I leave it unlocked by accident. I have a false camera storage as well so if someone asks to see my photos it shows normal people photos. The good ones are hidden.”
In another conversation, in a chatroom called ‘PedoPub’, Nutt discussed his frustration with the lack of access to children during lockdown.
“I usually walk past a school on the way to work and I can’t even do that!”
He added: “I am of the view that you have to be so careful and disguise your true self….
“Any little ones around me I treat as friends and gain their confidence.”
Nutt appeared before Bristol Crown Court yesterday, where he was sentenced to 16 months in prison, having pleaded guilty to possessing, making and distributing indecent images at an earlier hearing.
Derek Evans, NCA Senior Investigating Officer, said: “The conviction of Nutt serves as a warning to all – that we will work with partners across the globe to safeguard children and bring offenders before the Court.
“This investigation identified the horrendous rape of babies and very young children, which was being distributed by Nutt, who attempted to conceal his methods through sophisticated means and his knowledge of IT systems.
“For as long as the demand for this material remains in depraved people like Nutt, it will continue to be supplied. This investigation has broken part of that cycle and the NCA have succeeded in disrupting someone who posed a significant threat to children.”