Worthing man sentenced for child sex offences linked to international paedophile ring

A Worthing man has been sentenced for child sex offences as part of an investigation into an international paedophile ring.

According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), 21-year-old Daniel Farrar, of Compton Avenue in Goring, pleaded guilty to several counts relating to indecent images of children.

Daniel Farrar, 21, of Compton Avenue

Daniel Farrar, 21, of Compton Avenue

In a sentencing earlier this year, Farrar was handed a 26-week jail term, suspended for 24 months. He was also ordered to undertake rehabilitation activity and to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Farrar had admitted possessing indecent photographs, two Category A (the most extreme category) moving images of children in Goring on April 12, 2018, and possessing a Category A indecent moving image of a child in Goring on or before April 12, 2018.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order and told to pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Farrar was one of 337 arrests related to the dark website Welcome To Video, a site run from South Korea containing more than 250,000 horrific videos and supporting more than one million downloads.

The website monetised the sexual abuse of children and was one of the first to offer videos for sale using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. According to the NCA, videos could be purchased using 'points' obtained through uploading videos or purchasing through Bitcoin.

In the UK, 18 investigations were developed from the intelligence and seven men have already been convicted – including one jailed for 22 years for raping a five-year-old boy and appearing on Welcome To Video sexually abusing a three-year-old girl.

Arrests were made in 38 countries, including the UK, Ireland, America, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic and Canada.

Welcome To Video was discovered during an investigation into what the NCA described as one of the UK's worst child sex offenders, Matthew Falder. In 2017 Falder admitted 137 offences including encouraging child rape and sharing images of a newborn baby being abused. He is serving a 25-year jail sentence.

The site's founder, Jong Woo Son, 23, was arrested in South Korea in 2018, with site transaction data used to track offenders such as Farrar.

Nikki Holland, NCA director of investigations, said: “Dark web child sex offenders – some of whom are the very worst offenders – cannot hide from law enforcement.

“They’re not as cloaked as they think they are, they’re not as safe as they think they are.

“The NCA is relentless in pursuing them and we have specialist capabilities, which we use for all UK law enforcement, to unmask them and help take down sites like Welcome To Video.

“I’m immensely proud of the role we played in catching some very depraved and dangerous global offenders and for beginning the work that eventually caught Jong Woo Son.”

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation runs the Stop It Now! Helpline which offers confidential advice to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s behaviour towards children.

In the wake of Farrar's sentencing, the NSPCC issued a statement calling for greater regulations on platforms where child sex abuse can appear.

Andy Burrows, NSPCC's head of child safety online policy, said:

“There is no such thing as just looking at child abuse images. Every single image in Farrar’s possession is a crime scene, and every time he clicked on one of these image he was hurting a child.

“Online abuse is one of the greatest threats to children and law enforcement are having to do incredibly tough work to bring these offenders to justice.

“If we are to disrupt these criminals we can’t just leave it to police to track them down and pick up the pieces after abuse has taken place. We need the platforms where children are being groomed and abused to be regulated so they are safer, and tech needs to change to protect the child.”