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Man from Arnold locked up for raping child following international FBI and police investigation

A 22-year-old man from Arnold has been locked up for 12 years after pleading guilty to the rape of a child.

Joshua Hibbett, of Oakington Close pleaded guilty to a total of 14 charges, including the rape of a child and taking, making, possession and distribution of indecent images of children.

Officers from Nottinghamshire Police were first made aware of Hibbett following a FBI investigation into a Russian file sharing website used to exchange indecent images of children.

In February 2018, the FBI obtained a federal search and seizure warrant to trace a particular user who was encouraging other users to trade indecent images of children. The user was subsequently found to reside in the United States.

During the FBI investigation, multiple emails associated with activity on the Russian file sharing website were found. The username of ‘Joshua Hibbett’ was linked with two email addresses that had corresponded with the suspect from the United States.

The FBI found the email address with the username Joshua Hibbett was linked to a person who lived in the United Kingdom.

A collaborative investigation from Lincolnshire Police and Nottinghamshire Police found Hibbett to be living in Nottingham.

PICTURED: Joshua Hibbett

On Wednesday 19 December 2018, Nottinghamshire Police attended a property in Oakington Close and interviewed Joshua Hibbett. He was arrested on suspicion of the making and distribution of indecent images of children.

During the search of the property, a number of digital storage media devices were seized including a mobile phone and a laptop. Both were subsequently found to contain evidence relating to Hibbett’s offending.

Most of the images appeared to have been downloaded from the Russian website originally investigated by the FBI. The images had been placed into a folder called “Secret” found in Hibbett’s gaming folder.  

It was also found that Hibbett had created some of the images himself and shared them with the website. 

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He was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday 24 October 2019.  

Detective Constable Andrew Taylor, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This has been a disturbing, shocking case and I am proud of the hard work of officers in the Paedophile Online Investigation Team based within Nottinghamshire Police as well as the FBI to bring Hibbett to justice.

“I’d also like to praise the young survivor for their bravery and courage in coming forward. Their strength throughout this case has been nothing short of incredible.”

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