Two held over 'live child abuse on web'

An American mother-of-four was due to appear in court today charged with child sex abuse after an investigation by police in the UK led to her arrest.

The 30-year-old woman was taken into custody by officers in the state of Maine on Friday evening, following a tip off from the Child Exploitation Investigation Team at West Midlands Police. She was subsequently charged with gross sexual assault.

It is alleged the woman had used a webcam to broadcast live images of child sex abuse on the internet. Her children - aged between 18-months and five years old - have been taken into protective care.

Officers removed computers and associated hardware from the woman's home in the Mars Hill area.

The same investigation led to the arrest of an 18-year-old man in Walsall, shortly after 8pm on Thursday. He appeared before magistrates in the town on Saturday morning charged with possession and distribution of abusive images of children.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave McCrone, from the Public Protection Support Unit at West Midlands Police said: "Our officers worked through the night on Thursday and Friday to ensure the identification and safety of these children across the other side of the world.

"Whilst inquiries are ongoing and the investigation continues, I can only comment on the speed and efficiency with which we were able to respond which led to the protection of four children.

"Many people use the internet safely and securely, however there is a small minority who choose to use it to commit criminality.

"We work to make people safer, sooner. The very same technology used to commit the crime enables us to work quickly to protect those who may be vulnerable."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat