Sarah Gotham and Craig Forbes jailed for live streaming child abuse

Craig Forbes and Sarah GothamImage copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Craig Forbes was jailed for eight years and Sarah Gotham was sentenced to nine years

A couple who sexually assaulted a child and live streamed the abuse to an American paedophile via Skype have been jailed.

Sarah Gotham, 34, and Craig Forbes, 36, drugged and then abused the girl between December 2012 and March 2013.

They streamed the abuse to convicted sex offender Kori Ellis, 42, who was in California, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Gotham, of Plymouth, was jailed for nine years and Forbes, of Torquay, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Forbes had earlier admitted three charges of sexual assault, possession of indecent images and breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Gotham was found guilty of six charges of sexual assault of a child under 13 following a trial at Plymouth Crown Court.

The court heard how the two had sex sessions with the girl present and that Gotham also performed sex acts on her.

They broadcast it live via Skype to Ellis, a former magician’s assistant and dominatrix, who they had met in a web chat room.

‘Threat to children’

The pair came to the attention of British police through the arrest of Ellis, who has since pleaded guilty in a trial in the US to the production of indecent images of children, the court heard.

Ellis was flown to the UK accompanied by four FBI officers to five evidence against Gotham at her trial in person.

She told the jury she watched Gotham abuse the girl alone and on other occasions with Forbes.

Prosecutors said Gotham “was more than a spectator or a passenger” and played an active part in the abuse.

Passing sentence, Judge Ian Lawrie said he believed Gotham had been “corrupted” by Forbes and had been “under his spell”.

He added of Forbes: “He is manipulative, devious and is unquestionably interested in child pornography and from everything I have read and heard a clear and constant threat to children.”

The judge told Forbes: “You fell under the corrupting influence of Mr Forbes. But that does not excuse your responsibility for the offences.”

Nicholas Lewin, defending Gotham, said the offences happened as a result of Forbes’s influence and branded him the “vilest of predatory paedophiles”.

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