Man jailed after paying to access live streams of child abuse
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A man who spent nearly £1,800 to access child abuse through online live streaming services has been jailed following in investigation by our team tackling online child sex offences.
Officers from the Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) executed a warrant the Cressing home of Ian Cowen in February last year.
It followed information that the internet connection at the address had been used to access indecent images of children between August and September 2018.
A number of computers, phones, and electronic storage devices were seized during the warrant and when they were forensically examined, hundreds of indecent images of children were found.
Web searches relating to the abuse of children were also found.
Officers also found dozens of chats with other users on Skype where Cowen discussed the abuse of children and offered to pay for live streams showing abuse.
In total, it was established the 35 year-old, of The Westerings, had spent nearly £1,800 between 2014 and 2019 with various online streaming services.
He was charged and on 30 April 2020 at Chelmsford Crown Court he admitted making indecent images of children, taking indecent images of children and attempting to arrange a child sexual offence.
At the same court yesterday (9 July) he was jailed for three years.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Nick Riley, from POLIT, said: “Following a thorough investigation Ian Cowen is now serving a sentence in prison and will remain a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.
“He attempted to take advantage of vulnerable children and vulnerable people from the far east, by exploiting their circumstances and their need for food and medication.
“It is abhorrent and Essex Police POLIT will continue to work with colleagues from around the world to put a stop to these horrific crimes.
“No child, whatever their circumstances should have to suffer at the hands of offenders like Ian Cowen.
“Sadly, these types of cases are not uncommon, but our team is dedicated to bringing offenders to justice, and ensuring that all children are safeguarded, no matter where they are.
“Parents and carers should be vigilant surrounding their children’s online activities and I implore them to research websites and applications.
“Help and advice can be found at www.internetmatters.org.”
Detective Inspector Jo Collins, who leads POLIT, said: “This is another case which highlights the dedication and professionalism of my team.
“Ian Cowen posed a danger to children but now, thanks to the diligent work by my officers and the thorough investigation they carried out, he is behind bars.
“The work my team does often takes place away from the public eye but is really important.
“I hope communities across Essex can be reassured that while they go about their daily business there is a team of dedicated and determined officers ensuring children are kept safe online.”