More than 700 photographs of Northern Irish schoolgirls uncovered on pornographic website used by paedophiles
Hundreds of photographs of schoolgirls from across Northern Ireland have been found on a pornographic website based and run in Israel.
The website includes pupils from 19 post-primary schools across the country and also from some of the best-known grammar and high schools.
It was discovered following a BBC Spotlight NI investigation.
The photographs were those girls had taken of themselves and their friends and covered a wide geographical area and all communities in normal situations.
According to the Spotlight investigation in some of the pictures underwear was exposed as well as some bare skin.
Neither the pupils, nor the schools, have done anything wrong.
The pictures appear to have been taken from legitimate social network profiles without their knowledge or consent.
On discovering the images in October, BBC Spotlight NI immediately passed information about the website to the PSNI's Child Protection Unit. The programme also informed all the schools concerned.
The pornographic website had multiple galleries of the schoolgirls under provocative headings.
Within the galleries, explicit paedophilic comments were left under some photos.
The website in question is registered to an offshore accountancy business in Cyprus, with its servers located in The Netherlands.
However Spotlight discovered it is based in and run from Israel.
When contacted about the images, the website removed them, but refused to divulge who had uploaded them.
A representative of the website located in America agreed to be interviewed.
He said that the images were merely "risqué" and for the "fantasy" of its users.
BBC Spotlight NI showed the images to the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), Jim Gamble.
He said: "Whoever is collecting these images and putting them within the context of this site has a real problem and, in my opinion, an extremely deviant sexual interest in children," he said.
"If I was to find this on someone's computer that they were uploading it, and I was still in the police, they would be arrested that day."
Belfast Telegraph Digital