Nov 2006

Paedophile who took over girls’ computers forcing them into sex acts jailed

A “disgusting” internet paedophile, who repeatedly took control of schoolgirls’ computers from his own home before terrorising them into sending him indecent pictures of themselves, was jailed for 10 years today.

Adrian Ringland, 36, posed as an “attractive and innocent” chat room teenager to gain the trust of youngsters on both sides of the Atlantic in a case of “manipulation, exploitation and sexual gratification”.

Once he had their e-mail addresses, the father of two used some of the most advanced computer programmes seen by police to hack into their PCs, clearly demonstrating the “horrors that lurk within the internet” and the depravity of some of those using it.

Inner London Crown Court was told that once he had demonstrated his control over their systems, by moving cursors around, opening files, switching on printers and, in one case, opening and closing the CD Rom drawer, he then blackmailed his victims into stripping and sending explicit poses of themselves.

One of the youngsters said his level of expertise and his power over her PC reminded her of the cult science fiction film Matrix.

Another described her ordeal as “internet rape” and even spoke of committing suicide. A third told police she felt as if she was being “stalked”, and was so “terrified” it almost seemed as if the defendant was actually in her house.

As Ringland’s collection of illicit images grew, he became conviced he was untouchable. He even boasted to one child: “Call the cops….they won’t trace me.”

Fortunately one of his victims, a 14-year-old in Manitoba, Canada, finally confessed to her parents what she had been forced to do. They contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who launched an intensive, high-tech investigation.

Eventually they managed to crack his sophisticated on-line defences and traced him to his home 4,000 miles away in Lord Haddon Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.