FBI agents help hunt down Northampton paedophile using dark web to share vile photos of abuse victims

Police salute victims' bravery in confronting 57-year-old over catalogue of crimes dating back to 1996

By Kevin Nicholls
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 12:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 12:02 pm

FBI agents helped snare a Northampton paedophile who used the dark web to share vile photos of children he was sexually abusing.

Keith McFadden was convicted of 33 counts of sexual abuse, including rape and sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 following a nine-day trial at Northampton Crown Court, which ended on Tuesday (January 25).

The 57-year-old was also convicted of further offences of making and sharing indecent images of children and remanded in custody until a sentencing hearing on March 10.

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McFadden will be sentenced at Northampton Crown Court in March

He had denied all the offences.

Prosecutors described how the abuse took place over a 23-year period between 1996 and 2019 and involved six victims.

The jury was told how McFadden had groomed the victims’ families, embedding himself within their lives, making him appear invaluable to them. But he then went on to isolate and sexually abuse his young victims.

Indecent photographs distributed on the Dark Web eventually came to the attention of international law enforcement, including the US' FBI.

Jurors were told how he was arrested by Northamptonshire Police detectives following the identification of victims seen in the images, which had been sent into the National Crime Agency for distribution to UK police forces for identification purposes.

Victims were contacted by police following his arrest and it was only then that they disclosed their abuse.

Detective Constable Lindsey Leslie, of the force's Child Protection Team, said: "This has been a lengthy investigation involving multiple victims and witnesses. The defendant was found guilty by a unanimous jury. He displayed no remorse for his actions.

“The conviction shows the defendant’s guilt and I hope in some way helps provide closure for the victims. They will never get over what they have endured at the hands of McFadden, but they can know that justice has been served.

“I want to offer my thanks to the victims who have supported the investigation from the moment we contacted them. This would have brought back horrendous memories, forcing them to relive the abuse again.

“However, they stood up and confronted the defendant while giving testimony. This takes tremendous bravery and courage.

“Northamptonshire Police is committed to providing support for victims of sexual abuse, current or non-recent. Should anyone have suffered similar situations, I encourage you to report it and we will be there to listen and investigate."