Meanwhile, in another unremarkable suburb 760 kilometres north-west of Graham’s darkened bedroom, a young man whom you probably wouldn’t have picked as a child sex offender either was also sitting at his computer. Shannon McCoole, a baby-faced social worker for Families South Australia, was busily uploading images and videos of himself sexually abusing young children and babies in his care. None showed his face.
Rewind to 18 months ago. Unbeknown to Graham, McCoole and Scully, the dark web’s anonymising technology would not protect them forever. They were being watched by undercover detectives. Clues were being gathered, analysed and pieced together. Officers were swapping intelligence with child protection units across the country and with overseas counterparts in the US, Europe and Asia.
To find out more about keeping your children safe from online child sex abuse, go to thinkuknow.org.au, which has programs for parents and young people.