Details of global paedophile network heard in case of Newry student

Thousands of new victims expected to be identified across the world, court told

The defendant appeared via video link  to Newry magistrates court. Photograph: Google Street View

The defendant appeared via video link to Newry magistrates court. Photograph: Google Street View

 

Forensic details of the "mammoth" global paedophile network at the hands of a Newry computer science student have been heard in court for the first time.

Alexander McCartney (21) of Lissummon Road, Newry faces sample charges of possession, making and disturbing indecent images of children, sexual activity with a child and intimidation to commit an act of sexual activity with a child from January 2018 to July 2019.

The defendant appeared via video link from Maghaberry prison to Newry magistrates court.

An extradition order is under consideration by US authorities, due to alleged purchases of indecent photographs of children from the accused to 23 "customers" in the States allowing four times the ability to make contact with alleged child victims.

Twelve devices were seized from the Jordanstown University final year student in July following his arrest.

The capacity of the devices have now been revealed in court to have multiple capacity as ‘emulator, as one device is transformed into four.

Prosecution said it could identify the far-reaching global network of the defendant to the magistrate.

“Each emulator has 760 folders, and each of these folders identifies one victim,” said the solicitor.

“This is the biggest case in UK history and it will be even bigger now.

“There are a significant number of new victims. There are thousands of new victims expected to be identified across the world.

“There is a small sample being brought forward for prosecution, which is just the tip of the iceberg.

The modus operandi has been to “blackmail young victims in to abuse. The next step is to get younger siblings or cousins involved”.

“The investigation is a mammoth task, which is based locally to as far as New Zealand.

“The US authorities have now contacted the PSNI in order to extradite the defendant.

Defence alluded to the thorough report of the North’s Public Prosecution Service and said it appreciated the case being forwarded expeditiously.

District judge Eamonn King welcomed the “update of the state of play” to the courts and adjourned the case to a later date in November.

The defendant was remanded in to custody.