[LINK] Warning as net predator sentenced
Wed, 25 Oct 2000 03:23:10 +1100 (EST)
The story below about a man who sexually abused a child he met
through a chat room has been getting some prominence in the UK today,
Tuesday, and to coincide with the sentencing, Childnet has launched a
web site called Chat Danger at http://www.chatdanger.com.
Warning as net predator sentenced
A man who sexually abused a 13-year-old girl after meeting through an
internet chatroom has been sentenced to five years in jail.
The sentence was handed down to Patrick Green, 33, at Aylesbury Crown
Court on the day that a website was launched to alert parents to the
dangers of online chat rooms.
Green, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of
indecent assault, four counts of unlawful sex with a minor and one
count of attempted unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, was
branded a "predator" by Judge Christopher Tyrer.
Green also admitted eight counts of possessing indecent photographs
Experts fear that Green is only one of a number of paedophiles who
are using the internet to seek out their victims.
The teenager's family was so shocked by what happened they have
backed a new website, spelling out the dangers young people face
Green spent weeks gaining the trust of the child through chat room
conversations and emails, before finally talking to her on her mobile
phone and arranging to meet.
He denied two charges of abduction which were ordered to remain on
Warning to parents
Chatdanger.com - being launched on Tuesday - warns that there is no
way of knowing who you are talking to in a chatroom.
It advises that teenagers should never give out personal information,
such as email addresses, and should never arrange to meet a chatroom
The website has been set up by Childnet International, a charity
which aims to make the internet a safe place for children.
Childnet Director, Nigel Williams, said: "We hope that parents look
at it because there is an area there that will explain all the detail
of how chat actually works, and why kids are so interested in it.
"There's also an area for teens themselves to see the sort of things
they can do."
People are warned to look out for chatroom users who initially claim
to be one age then change it, or who try to drive a wedge between the
child and their family through sympathy and flattery.
But children's charities fear that, as more and more young people use
chatrooms, there will be more and more cases of paedophiles stalking
their victims online.
John Carr, internet adviser for NCH Action for Children, said:
"Children have got to be streetwise in cyberspace. They've got to be
net smart. They've got to think of the internet like a modern city.
"They've got to know the people they might meet there aren't
necessarily all that they claim to be and won't always have the best
of intentions towards them."
He fears if people are not vigilant then the UK will find that, like
the United States, it is facing hundreds of cases where paedophiles
have used the internet to lure children.
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