A man who watched a four-year-old girl being sexually abused online as it was streamed live to a global audience has escaped jail.
Gareth Gascoigne-Leopold, of Rectory Lane in Tadley, was given a five year prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Lewes Crown Court on Friday.
The 35-year-old was one of six people from the UK to watch the abuse in December 2015, broadcast via an online video streaming forum.
He was also given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order, and ordered to attend a rehabilitation course and get internet sex offender’s treatment.
The girl, who is from Denmark, has since been identified and is being safeguarded by the authorities.
Gascoigne-Leopold’s arrest is part of a wider investigation being carried out by the National Crime Agency (NCA) into the streaming of child sexual abuse.
He was arrested at Gatwick airport having travelled back from Spain in December 2016, and charged with four offences on July 4 this year.
These were intentionally encouraging and/or assisting the commission of an offence, possessing an extreme pornographic image, possessing an indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph, and possessing a prohibited image of a child.
Graham Ellis, from the NCA’s chile exploitation and online protection command, said: “The abuse this little girl suffered was unimaginable. That it was also streamed live around the world makes it even more horrific.
“The individuals who were logged into the forum to watch this abuse thought they would remain anonymous, but they thought wrong – there is no hiding place.
“Using all the powers and means available to us, we will identify and locate those who seek to exploit children for their own sexual pleasure and bring them to justice.”
The other five people from the UK identified at the same time as Gascoigne-Leopold have all been arrested, and are at various stages of the justice system.