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Child sex tourist captured

PUBLISHED: 00:55 08 April 2005 | UPDATED: 05:45 02 March 2010

A FORMER manager of an Ipswich internet games arcade today told how he snared a child sex tourist downloading indecent images while children played next to him.

A FORMER manager of an Ipswich internet games arcade today told how he snared a child sex tourist downloading indecent images while children played next to him.

Michael Sloan's vigilance led to a global investigation culminating with Peter Swale being the first person in Suffolk to be successfully prosecuted for making and taking indecent photographs of children while overseas.

It is believed Swale, whose own computer was found to contain more that 3,500 images of child porn, is only the fifth person in Britain to admit or be convicted of offences committed in another country.

Mr Sloan was working at Langames.Info, known as LGI, on the corner of Tacket Street and Upper Brook Street, when the 49-year-old lorry driver from New Zealand walked into the premises last June.

The 24-year-old was behind the counter when he saw Swale looking furtive while seated at one of the bank of computers in the downstairs floor of LGI.

Mr Sloan, of Turret Lane, Ipswich, said: "He was acting really suspiciously, flicking between websites. He was looking at something about Volkswagen camper vans and kept flicking over to it a lot.

"I decided to keep an eye on him. I was able to view everything that was going on on his screen from behind the counter.

"I thought 'hang on a minute' and noticed he was saving it to a disk so it would not go on the hard drive.

"He was erasing the history and everything, so nobody knew he had been there.

"What he did not know was temporary internet files still exist and I knew where they were. I went and accessed them and saved them.

"There was quite a lot on there and a lot of it was naked children, mostly boys. It was obvious what sort of stuff he was looking for. He was actually sitting next to small children, who were aged maybe about eight or nine. I thought if they saw what he was doing it would have been awful."

During Swale's court appearances the prosecution said some of the images found on his computer were from a naturist-swimming site based in Mildenhall. However the worst ones were captured while he was abroad in notorious paedophile haunts in Cambodia and the Philippines.

Mr Sloan said: "I called the police after he left. He turned up the next day and the moment he sat down I called the police. They turned up and caught him. He had a disk with him at the time."

Appalled by what Swale was downloading and trying to conceal, Mr Sloan said he was disgusted by the New Zealand lorry driver's actions.

"I think it's terrible. People like that should not be allowed anywhere near children. I feel sick that I let him stay down there, but I wasn't sure what he was up to."

Suffolk police are delighted with the successful prosecution of Swale, who has a New Zealand passport in the name of Stanley and an Australian passport in the name of Swale.

It is believed authorities in Australia also wish to interview him in connection with a similar inquiry there.

When he came to England last April, Swale left his wife from the Philippines behind and rented temporary accommodation in Saxmundham for a few weeks, before moving to Huntingdon.

The investigating officer from Suffolk police's specialist online investigation team, detective constable Adrian Cassidy said: "This was one of our more interesting and unique cases. We are very, very pleased we have got a successful prosecution. We have sought support from other law enforcement agencies from around the world to ensure we were successful in our prosecution. It was a global investigation."

Dc Cassidy said the paedophile on-line investigation team in London had told him Swale was one of only five people to admit or be convicted of images which had been acquired while in other countries.

He added the only possession of child pornography offences Swale committed while in Britain were at the lower end of the scale.

See opinion page 6.

NEW Zealand lorry driver Peter Swale , pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to inciting a child in the Philippines to commit gross indecency.

He also pleaded guilty to five counts of taking indecent images of children while in Cambodia in December, 2001 and one count of taking indecent images of children while in the Philippines between August 2003 and April 2004.

The 49-year-old, who had been living in West Street, Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire before his arrest in June last year, pleaded guilty to a further charge of possessing a digital camera memory card containing indecent images during his crown court hearing.

A further count of possessing a disc with 38 indecent images was ordered to lie on his file.

Swale, who changed his name from Peter Stanley while in New Zealand, faced 16 charges in total and had already pleaded guilty to other charges involving possessing indecent images at a previous hearing.

He is set to be sentenced on May 6.

During the hearing, Judge Alastair Darroch told him he faces a prison sentence.

Swale, who is married to a woman in the Philippines, arrived in England in April last year.

He was arrested after he visited LGI in Ipswich and raised the suspicions of Mr Sloan.

During a search of his home 3,576 indecent images of children were found on his computer equipment.

More than 3,000 of the images were at the lower end of the scale, classed as level one images.

A second search conducted while Swale was on bail uncovered further images on a laptop computer and hard drive.

Many of the images found had been downloaded from naturist websites.

The case was the first time in Suffolk the Crown Prosecution Service had sought a prosecution for such offences committed while an offender was overseas.

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