Darknet CP Admin from “The Annex” Sentenced 16 Years

Darknet CP Admin Arrested
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Ex-Darknet CP website admin from Cheshire County receives 16 years in prison for his role in moderating ‘The Annex,’ a darknet website dedicated to child abuse (CSAM). The site, now shut down, had about 90,000 members worldwide and was part of a larger investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), revealing Bake’s significant involvement in facilitating global child sexual abuse.

Key Insights

  • Nathan Bake, a 28-year-old car mechanic from Cheshire County, North West England, was sentenced to 16 years in jail for creating and moderating child abuse sites on the dark web.
  • Bake was a moderator of ‘The Annex,’ a CP site with approximately 90,000 members globally, dedicated to sharing and discussing child abuse material.
  • The Annex featured ‘hurt core’ content and the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers.
  • Bake was identified by the National Crime Agency (NCA) as one of three UK-based moderators.
  • Bake escalated from a user to the head moderator by posting abusive material and encouraging discussions of a sexual nature.
  • The Annex had at least 30 staff members to enforce The Annex’s rules and helped create another site named Lolita’s Paradise.
  • Bake pleaded guilty to 12 counts, including facilitating the sexual exploitation of children and distributing indecent images of children.
  • Bake’s fellow moderator, Kabir Garg, was sentenced to six years in prison, while another moderator awaits sentencing.
  • 14 men in the US have been charged so far for their roles in operating The Annex, with sentences ranging from six to 28 years.

A 28-year-old car mechanic from Cheshire County North West England who created and moderated sites dedicated to child abuse on the darknet has received a 16-year jail sentence from the Chester Crown Court.

Nathan Bake, 28, was one of three UK-based moderators of a CP website called ‘The Annex’ who were identified by the National Crime Agency. Blake was first identified in part of an investigation that targeted individuals behind the dark website.

The Annex, which is no longer in operation, had approximately 90,000 members from around the globe. Members used the site to share and discuss horrific and extreme kinds of abuse material. The material involved ‘hurt core’ and the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers.

Bake was one of a select number of individuals that played a vital role in ensuring The Annex continued to run and was able to facilitate child sexual abuse on a global scale.” 

Daniel Waywell, NCA’s Senior investigating Officer

Bake acted as head moderator of the site and was second in command under the leadership of an American man who was sentenced to life in prison in January. Bake assumed responsibility for the 30 staff members and worked with them to enforce the site’s rules.

What We Know About the Incident

American law enforcement officers identified the dark website on a server in Romania in 2020. The website then moved to a server located in Moldova and shared explicit material involving the abuse of toddlers and “hurt core.”

New users on the site would first go to a ‘gateway’ accessed through a Tor browser and would have to gain the trust of the administrators by posting content of abusive material before being granted access to other sites such as “Tots ‘R’ Us” and, “No Limits”.

Bake started as a user on the website and worked his way up the chain by actively posting abusive material and encouraging discussion of the sexual nature. In a post recovered by NCA investigators, Bake said “Come on people, Show us what you’ve got for HAPPY HOUR. Show us the boys and girls that turn you on the most’..

His commitment to the website was such that Daniel Waywell, NCA’s senior investigating officer, said: “Such was his dedication to this global community of pedophiles that he also committed his time, on top of his day job as a mechanic, to running and setting up other dark websites that assisted their offending.”

Prosecuting officer, Anna Pope, said that Bake and his team of around 30 staff members enforced The Annex’s rules in a “sophisticated and well-structured operation.” She further stated that he had also been involved in the administration of another site and helped create a third named Lolita’s Paradise.

Anna Pope, prosecuting, told the court Bake was responsible for managing around 30 staff members who worked to enforce The Annex’s rules in a “sophisticated and well-structured” operation.

NCA investigators arrested Bake at his Runcorn homestead in November 2022. On his arrest, authorities seized a number of devices, including laptops, phones, USBs and external hard drives. 

One of the seized laptops was running with the TOR dark web browser and exposed explicit images of children on the screen. The evidence gathered from the devices was sufficient proof to link Bake as the co-creator of a child abuse site and the head moderator of a 576 page paedophile manual containing links to other abuse forums on the dark web.

Mark Edmondson,National Crime Agency’s lead officer, said that Bake seemed to be a “fairly solitary individual.” He further emphasized that Bake worked during the day as a mechanic and “spent his evenings, pretty much all of them… as soon as he got in from work he would log on to these sites, and then (be) on them early into the morning hours.”

According to court records, more than 3.6 million indecent images were recovered from the seized devices at Bake‘s home. His children’s tights, underwear and sandals were discovered at the bottom drawer of his computer desk.


After his arrest, Bake pleaded guilty to 12 counts including facilitating the sexual exploitation of children, participating in an organised crime group, possession of a paedophile manual, and distributing and making indecent images of children.

Keith Jones, Bake’s defense attorney, said that Bake was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 16, converted to Islam, and was learning Arabic to try find peace in the scriptures.

Jones said that “he acknowledges that his behaviour is morally reprehensible.” Despite the attempts for a leaner sentence, Judge Thompson said that he considered Bake to be “a dangerous offender” and rule for an extended licence period of four years.

Judge Thompson told Bake that “You are a committed paedophile who represents a very significant risk of causing serious harm to children.” Chester Crown Court sentenced Bake to 16 years imprisonment, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and given a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Bake’s fellow moderator, Kabir Garg, 33, was sentenced to six years imprisoment by a UK court last year. Another 48 year-old moderator was also arrested in connection with The Annex website but is yet to receive his sentence.

Sites such as these directly and openly encourage users to commit sexual offences against children, and those who run or access them assume they are protected by anonymity. determination and technical capability to target those who use the dark web to endanger and harm children. We work closely with international partners to ensure offenders are identified and brought to justice.”

Daniel Waywell, Senior Investigating Officer from the National Crime Agency

The NCA worked with numerous international law enforcement agencies in it’s investigation against the group of moderators. In addition, 14 men have been charged in the US for their roles in operating to The Annex. Eight of with the 14 suspects received sentences of between six and 28 years.