A former contestant from Channel 4’s Countdown is now behind bars after being found to have committed child sex abuse offences.
Craig Chittenden of Willington, County Durham, has received a 12-year custodial sentence at Durham Crown Court on Friday (18 February) after admitting to the sex offences.
Durham Constabulary said the 33-year-old “hid behind a screen” as he encouraged a woman from the US to abuse her daughter as he watched.
Digital officers were alerted by FBI special agents from Dallas, Texas, that he had been exchanging messages with their suspect.
Seized devices also revealed that Chittenden had been making contact with like-minded individuals in America and inciting sexual acts on young children.
Digital Online Investigator, DC Georgina Lewis said: “The Digital Investigations team work incredibly hard to protect young people from harm and bring perpetrators of child sexual exploitation to justice and I hope today’s result demonstrates that.
“Chittenden is a sexual predator who tried to hide his crimes online and encourage like-minded individuals in the USA to carry out sex acts on children.
“This was a complex investigation but thanks to the collaborative investigative efforts between Texas Police and ourselves he was left with no option but to plead guilty.”
Back in 2010, when he was a 22-year-old student, Chittenden made it to a semi-final of the Countdown.
Officers visited his home in March 2020 where he disclosed that he had “accessed some images” which could be found on his phone.
They found almost 1,000 indecent images.
He was charged in October last year with making indecent images, possession of extreme pornographic images, distribution of indecent images, facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and inciting sexual exploitation of a child.
Chittenden claimed he had no interest in children but admitted to being sexually aroused by the images.
The judge described the sexual predator as a “dangerous offender,” following how “emotionless and detached” he was throughout his sentencing.
Follow our social media:
Vicky Pattison left in tears before her praised Channel 4 documentary airs
Vicky Pattison opened up on Instagram on Tuesday to reveal that she had been ‘crying in the toilets for hours’ after a press tour for her Channel 4 documentary on alcoholism left her ‘completely emotionally exhausted.
The Geordie Shore star confirmed last month that she would be releasing a documentary focusing on her father John’s battle with drink and addressing her own fears that she could follow his path, admitting that alcohol has already impacted stages of her career.
My Dad, Alcohol and Me aired on Tuesday at 10pm on Channel 4 and has already received widespread praise from viewers.
The promotional trial ahead of the documentary’s release saw Vicky appearing on shows like The One Show and This Morning, as well as in numerous magazines and newspapers.
Vicky is known for her honest social media presence, and on Tuesday posted a tearful selfie to Instagram with the following caption:
“Today got the better of me… 🥺
“I’ve spent the last month talking about things that I’ve kept bottled up for years- in the hopes that people will watch my documentary tonight and understand a little bit more about addiction and alcoholism. But I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t left me completely emotionally exhausted. Every interview I did I grew closer and closer to tears.
“I went and hid in the toilets at the BBC today and had a little cry after my chat- which I’d been threatening to do all day if I’m honest with myself ”
She also shared that she hopes that the documentary is able to help even just one person feel less alone or bring one family closer together while bringing clarity and peace, and helping people understand what those struggling with addiction and those that love them have to face on a daily basis.
How Tyneside sizzled during the four-month summer heatwave of 1976
Looking back, according to the weather records, the summers of 2003, 1995, 1959, 1949 and 1915 were some of the true scorchers of the last 100 years or so.
But it was the blistering, seemingly endless summer of 1976 that will remain forever burned into the memory of anyone who lived through it.
The sun began shining in April and kept shining 45 years ago as the summer heatwave saw British temperatures nudging the mid 30s for months on end.
The heatwave kicked off in April and for week after week, the sun blazed in cloudless skies over Britain. Millions of us began flocking to the seaside and the countryside, and sunbathing in parks and back.
We also saw massive swarms of seven-spotted ladybirds landing in the country, a vivid memory for many.
But it wasn’t all sunshine and easy going, the extreme heat led to severe drought. The impact of the drought on water supplies led to water rationing, with rivers in parts of the country running dry.
The 1976 heatwave is understood to have also been the cause of 20% ‘excess deaths’ and there were significantly more hospital emergency admissions from 24 June to 8 July 1976 than for the same period in 1975 or 1974.
The heatwave and drought eventually came to an abrupt end when severe thunderstorms swept across the country, with September and October of 1976 bringing lots of rain.
Do you remember the blazing summer of ’76?
Newcastle’s Summer ‘Screen on the Green’ Schedule Revealed!
Sports7 months ago
Newcastle transfer rumours as January window approaches
News9 months ago
Local mum left with serious injuries after being spiked
Sports7 months ago
Rumours: How could Newcastle line-up after the January transfer window?
Featured5 months ago
Humanitarian aid for Ukraine collection point in Newcastle
Featured5 months ago
North-East Collection Points For Ukraine Donations
Sports7 months ago
Favourites to sign for Newcastle in January, according to SkyBet
Sports2 months ago
Six potential strikers that would improve Newcastle’s attack
Entertainment6 months ago
Sam Fender Celebrates Victory With Gregg’s-Filled Party Bus