Nine life sentences for ring leader of Hertfordshire's largest paedophile case

12 October 2018

Jo Briggs

DI Jo Briggs

DI Jo Briggs and her team from Hertfordshire Constabulary investigated a paedophile ring which was to be one of the worst and complex cases that the officers had ever dealt with to date.

The two-year investigation, called Operation Pendent, revealed that a suspect was communicating with others over social media before shifting on to the video platform Skype.  Video conversations were recovered using specialist techniques, and were found to involve the live streaming of sexual abuse against children.

More than 100 suspects were involved but they had trouble accessing some of the US-based online dating apps which are subject to strict privacy laws, meaning investigators had to go to the American Embassy to unlock what was a major barrier.
The investigation was the largest and most complex ever undertaken by the force’s child online safeguarding team, and resulted in the ring leader receiving nine life sentences and his accomplices also receiving lengthy sentences.

One of the biggest achievements for DI Briggs and her team was the difference that they were able to make to the children’s lives and that supporting victims is what makes the job worthwhile.

Reassuringly, some of the victims have moved to new homes, have newly decorated bedrooms, new toys, and they can start to live a happier life.