A man from Lincolnshire has been jailed for six years and three months for sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl and sharing videos of the abuse online.
Keenan Ridgway, aged 21, became the subject of a National Crime Agency investigation in August 2021, after he sent the material to another offender who was arrested in Miami.
After matching the images and videos to those that were uploaded to a file-sharing platform in 2018, NCA investigators identified Ridgway as the user behind that account.
He was arrested by NCA officers at his home in Skegness and his phone was seized. This was analysed and was confirmed to be a match for the phone that was used to create the abuse material, and from which the platform had been accessed several times in 2018.
The phone’s step counter had recorded Ridgway climbing the equivalent of seven flights of stairs on the night a number of the videos were created. This is consistent with him walking to the location where the abuse took place.
Officers also recovered a number of items of Ridgway’s clothing, glimpses of which could be seen in the abuse videos.
The file-sharing app was downloaded on his phone and showed that in total, Ridgway had uploaded 450gb of material, which amounted to almost 30,000 indecent images of children (IIOC) in categories A-C. 42 of these were of the young girl, whom it was identified he sexually assaulted on at least three occasions.
A further 355 IIOC were also recovered from his phone.
Email records showed that prior to committing the abuse, Ridgway told another online user that he had sent all the videos he had, but promised he would be “making new soon so you’ll be the first person to be sent them”.
Ridgway was charged with 16 offences, including three counts of sexual assault of a child, three counts each of taking and possessing IIOC, six counts of distributing IIOC, and possession of prohibited imagery.
He pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced today [17/02/2023] at Lincoln Crown Court to six years and three months in prison.
He has been placed on the sex offenders register for life and is also subject to a ten-year sexual harm prevention order.
Martin Ludlow from the National Crime Agency said: “Ridgway sexually abused a young child in circumstances where she should have been safe.
“His actions have caused trauma to those involved, the impact of which may be felt long after he has served his sentence.
“He has been convicted of a serious sexual assault. We know he did this on at least three occasions then sent footage of the abuse to other paedophiles online.
“The NCA has the niche capabilities to identify high risk offenders like Ridgway who pose a sexual threat to children and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure they are identified and brought to justice.”
17 February 2023