Feb 21 2003 Chester Chronicle
PEOPLE power and The Chronicle have won the fight to get a sickening paedophile site - in the name of Chester - removed from the web.
Councillors and readers were disgusted earlier this month when we told how a disturbing site could be accessed after innocently typing 'Chester Guide' into the popular search engine run by Google.
This week, the US firm agreed to remove the site, entitled 'Chester's guide to picking up little girls', after receiving complaints from our readers.
The move also comes after Cheshire Constabulary's paedophile unit alerted the Internet Watch Foundation.
Google's international public relations manager, Debbie Frost, said: 'Google is the world's largest search engine and helps people find websites that are operated by others.
'Google has no relationship with or control over those sites and simply acts like a mirror, reflecting what is publicly available from over 3billion web pages on the Internet.
'When an illegal site is discovered, search engines like Google will remove such sites from their indices in order to abide by the law.
'After our investigation, we have determined that the site in question is illegal and therefore it will be removed from our index.'
Praising The Chronicle, Mrs Frost added: 'Thank you for your patience and for bringing this site to our attention.'
The Chronicle alerted the authorities after web designer Keith Secker, 25, got more than he bargained for when he typed 'Chester Guide' into the search engine. Mr Secker, who lives in Steele Street, was trying to find accommodation for his mum, who was paying him a visit.
But at number two in the 50-strong list of options that appeared on his screen was the perverted site, which began: 'Have you ever hung around playgrounds wishing you could just...'
After we brought the story to light, detectives at Cheshire Constabulary's paedophile unit said their hands were tied because the site did not breach the Obscene Publications Act and is not hosted in the UK.
However, they urged objectors to bombard Google and the Internet service provider marhost.com with complaints.
Mr Secker found the site sandwiched between two others offering accommodation in the city and he clicked on the link without studying the wording carefully.
He was shocked at the content, which includes headings like 'Where to find 'em' with jocular tips on how to approach 'Girls nine and under'.
Chester refers not to the city but to the site's apparently American author, who goes under the warped name of 'Chester the Molester'.
John Price, leader of Chester City Council, was furious when we informed him of the site's existence.
This week, he said: 'It's great news the site has been removed. Good riddance to bad rubbish. However, we must now be vigilant and make sure it does not come back.'
Chester MP Christine Russell was also outraged and immediately agreed to demand a change in the law to make such sickening sites illegal.
Alternatively, share this story...