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Paedophile had 'no-one to turn to'

Russell Claydon,, April 22, 2008

A paedophile who ran a global child abuse network from his parent's Suffolk farmhouse has claimed he had no-one to turn to with his problems.

Timothy Cox, 31, who has been jailed indefinitely after police smashed the internet paedophile ring he ran from his home in Buxhall, told police it had been "hard to break the routine" of his offending.

But last night child protection campaigners described his comments as "disingenuous" and said there was help out there for people who wanted to find it.

Details of a police interview with Cox were revealed at the same time as the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) published results showing that the dismantling of six paedophile rings in the past 12 months has safeguarded 131 children from sexual abuse.

Cox was arrested in September 2006 after an undercover Canadian policeman found the chat room during an investigation into paedophile  websites.

Experts found 75,960 indecent and explicit images of children on his computer as well as evidence that he had supplied 11,491 images to other users of the chat room in the largest operation seen in Suffolk.

In an interview with police on the day of his arrest he said he no longer got any pleasure from the images and downloading them had just become "automatic".

Heard laughing nervously in the interview, he said: 

"You just keep on downloading, downloading, it does not matter what it is you just keep on going and going and going even if you do not look at it you just shunt it off to the shared folder and off it goes."

In a further interview, almost eight weeks following his arrest, he said: 

"I do sit there and think what was it and why was it and why was I bothered about it, especially when during those latter moths it was aggravating me more than it was doing anything for me but it was just so hard to break that routine.

"The problem is - as I said to my parents - there is no-one to approach. What do you do? Do you go and tell your doctor or is that the kind of thing your doctor can't deal with? There is no telephone numbers."

After reading his comments, Michele Elliott, chief executive of Kidscape, said she just couldn't regard them as genuine and said there was support out there including Stop It Now - a free hotline designed to prevent sexual child abuse.

"I have some sympathy for anyone who wants to stop being involved in child paedophilia but there is an organisation called Stop It Now.

"I think what he says is disingenuous because all he had to do was just stop, erase the images from his computer and that would be it. The fact he had so many means I do not believe he did not get any turn on from them. What he said was just unbelievable."

Simon Bass, who formulates child protection policies for the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service, said sex offenders could also turn to groups Sanctuary or Circles of Support, as well as having specialist software - known as Covenant Eyes - installed that would allow two other people to see what sites someone was accessing.

Stop It Now encourages abusers and potential abusers to seek help and gives adults the information they need to protect children effectively. They can be reached through calling 0808 1000 900

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