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North Shields webmaster could have cost music industry £240m

Two internet pirates behind illegal music internet forum Dancing Jesus, which could have cost the industry more than £240 million, have been jailed.

The forum allowed members to post tens of thousands of illegal links to songs, often before they had been released.

Site owner and administrator Kane Robinson, 26, of Wyndham Way, North Shields, North Tyneside, was jailed for two years and eight months at Newcastle Crown Court after he admitted earlier this year illegally distributing music.

More than 22,500 links to 250,000 individual titles were made available on Dancing Jesus between 2006 and 2011.

The site had more than 70 million user visits during its life span.

Richard Graham, 22, of Station Road, Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, was jailed for 21 months. He illegally distributed thousands of files on Dancing Jesus, including about 8,000 tracks, around two-thirds of which were pre-release.

Graham pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to illegally distributing music.

After the case, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said it linked with other organisations including the US Department of Homeland Security and City of London Police to investigate Dancing Jesus in 2010. The inquiry identified the creator and operator of the site as Robinson and in September 2011 he was arrested.

"(This) sentencing sends a clear message to the operators and users of illegal music sites that online piracy is a criminal activity that will not be tolerated by law enforcement in the UK or overseas.

"Speaking as a music fan, it just doesn't make sense to help criminals when you can support artists."

– The director of the BPI's Copyright Protection Unit, David Wood

"The IPO is committed to supporting rights holders in enforcing IP rights and this sentence shows how seriously the court takes such activity.

"This case demonstrates how successful intelligence and enforcement agencies working in partnership can be in stopping IP infringement."

– Huw Watkins, head of the Intellectual Property Office Intelligence Hub

"This case is an excellent example of law enforcement agencies co-operating to tackle online criminal activity, which has a real impact on record companies and their ability to invest in artists."

– Jeremy Banks, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's director of anti-piracy

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Child 'mistaken' over grabbing claim

Officers investigating an incident that an 11-year-old girl was approached by a man in Waterville Road, North Shields this morning, (Thursday November 6) have now been informed that the child was mistaken and that in fact no attempt was made by the man to grab her arm.

Officers are satisfied that this did not take place and want to reassure parents that their children are not at risk.

Additional police will patrols will continue in this area to update residents and reassure local people.

11-year-old girl grabbed by man in North Shields

Police are appealing for witnesses after an 11-year-old girl was approached by a man who grabbed her arm in North Shields.

It happened at approximately 8am on Thursday, November 6, at a bus stop in Waterville Road. The 11-year-old girl ran off and called for help.

She was upset and distressed by the incident but was otherwise unhurt.

The man who approached her is described as 6 feet tall, medium to large build, his face was covered with a black fabric. He was wearing dark clothing.

Police are carrying out enquiries in the area and additional officers are on patrol to reassure the community.

Officers are appealing for witnesses anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious is asked to contact them.

Man in his 30s raped in North Shields

A man in his 30s has been raped in the Waterville Road area of North Shields.

It happened between 8:50pm and 10:45pm on Tueday, 28th October. Police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

"Clearly this is an extremely distressing time for the victim and we're ensuring he has the support he needs.

"Detectives are carrying out enquiries in the area and local officers are conducting extra patrols to reassure residents and gather information.

"I'd urge anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area or who has information to contact police as soon as possible."

– Acting Detective Inspector Don Gibson, Northumbria Police
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