Skegness paedophile who shared videos of child abuse jailed
A smirking paedophile who shared videos of himself sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl online has been jailed.
Keenan Ridgeway, 21, was tracked and arrested by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers after the footage was sent to another offender in the US.
Police later discovered hundreds of indecent images of children on devices found at his home.
Ridgeway, of Croft Bank, Skegness, was jailed for six years and three months after he admitted 16 offences. He smiled throughout the sentencing.
Barrister David Eager told Lincoln Crown Court the offending was first uncovered in early 2020 but Ridgeway was not identified and the investigation was closed.
However, the NCA reopened the inquiry after Interpol flagged that six images of the victim being sexually assaulted – which could be traced back to Lincolnshire – had been distributed to someone in Miami, in the US.
NCA investigations found more images on the dark web of the defendant assaulting his victim, and Ridgway was arrested in August 2021.
When the NCA later gained access to his iPhone, they found he had an account on a website which allowed paedophiles to trade and distribute indecent images, with a further 42 images of his victim and 355 other indecent photos and videos found in various folders and caches, including of children being raped.
It was also discovered that Ridgeway had sent 462 indecent images to others online.
In a statement read to the court the victim’s mother said she hoped Ridgeway “rots in hell”.
Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst said: “This is not simply a case of sexual images being taken, but I have got to be mindful of the fact that not only did you take them, not only did you distribute them to like-minded individuals, but these are images that have gone worldwide.
“They will be there forever. They can never be removed.”
Ridgeway pleaded guilty on 11 November last year to 16 separate charges, including assault of a child aged under 13 by penetration and six of distributing indecent photographs of a child.
He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years, as well as being placed on the sex offenders register for life.
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