Sometimes the past has interesting secrets

A comment here prompted me to dig up the past a bit today. Sometimes the past has interesting and surprising secrets.

In 2010 I was interviewed by Turn90/WeAreElectricals for a software development position. It seemed weird at the time that their website made them look like a very large online retail company but nobody had ever heard of them, and their office only had about 15 people in it. This turned out to be the start of a wonderful relationship; I never heard anything from them after the interview, so when the Guardian reported shortly afterwards that they were a terrible company who were scamming customers it piqued my interest enough to add some more fuel to their fire by discovering and pointing out many of their online reviews were obvious fakes. My post started ranking very highly on Google, which the Guardian then picked up on, they did more digging, got in touch with a contractor I’d identified, and showed pretty conclusively that WAE were indeed paying for fake reviews, and of course published it to a large audience. Overall I think WAE probably lost money by interviewing me.

I was interviewed by Darren Cresswell, the technical director. He didn’t really strike me as technical director material; he came across as one of those entrepreneurial types who only becomes an entrepreneur because there is a 0.00% chance of anyone else employing them. Being a director, some of his details are still online. His registered contact address at the time was Bradley Lane, Bilston, and being born in 1983 he would have been 23 in 2006.

I mention this because today a comment left prompted me to see if WAE ever reinvented themselves or if they just disappeared.

Anticlimactically, they seem to have fallen off the radar. But, much more climactically, I discovered that in 2006, a 23 year old Darren Cresswell who lived on Bradley Lane, Bilston was jailed for 3 and a half years, for, amongst other things, sexual assaults on children! And I mean proper children, not teenagers. There are times when one exclamation point doesn’t cut it, and this is one of them. !!!!!!!!!!!.

Although there was a lot of discussion online about him and Ben Slater, the other director, nobody else seems to have discovered the Birmingham Mail article. It seems really pathetic and frankly incomprehensible that he really was unemployable but managed to dig himself out of that hole by starting a company, only to have the company basically run a scam which led to its liquidation. I won’t link to it, but Encyclopedia Dramatica has a page on him and his online aliases and quotes some of his writings which show him to be not only unrepentant about his activities with children, but also completely incapable of understanding why people objected to it.

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