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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020

English couple who livestreamed abuse of a child jailed for a combined 17 years

The FBI alerted Devon and Cornwall Police who started an investigation into the couple.

Image: Shutterstock/Peter Horrox

AN ENGLISH COUPLE who livestreamed the abuse of a child to a woman in America have been jailed for 17 years.

Craig Forbes and his former partner Sarah Gotham from Plymouth were discovered during an FBI investigation into child abuse which led them to a woman in San Francisco, California. The woman admitted she had been contacting other paedophiles online, including Forbes and Gotham in the UK.

The FBI then alerted Devon and Cornwall Police who started an investigation into the couple.

Plymouth Crown Court heard yesterday how Forbes and Gotham carried out the abuse on several occasions between December 2012 and March 2013. Forbes pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault of a child. Three other counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of rape will lie on file. Sarah Gotham denied six counts of sexual assault of a child but was convicted by a jury.

Forbes, 36, was sentenced to eight years in prison with an extended licence of eight years and Gotham, 34, received nine years in prison. Both will be on the sexual offenders register for life.

Howard Phillips, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said:

With the assistance of San Francisco Police Department and the FBI, the CPS was able to secure witness testimony from an American prisoner who later gave evidence in court; that with technical evidence found on devices seized in the USA was used to present a strong case.

“This case shows that wherever online sexual abuse is uncovered, we can work with international law enforcement agencies to pursue offenders and bring them before the courts.”

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