Sex offender breached order by downloading indecent child images on "secret" phone (From The Northern Echo)
For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Bishop Auckland sex offender breached order by downloading indecent child images on "secret" phone
A SEX offender breached the terms of a restrictive order by making contact with a teenage girl and downloading indecent images of children.
Richard Adam Neal was jailed for three-and-a-half-years after a court heard that he stored the offending images on a “secret” phone hidden from police on monitoring visits made following his release from a previous prison sentence.
Durham Crown Court was told Neal received a 30-month sentence in August 2009 for sexual activity with a child.
He was ordered to sign as a sex offender and disqualified from working with children, both for life.
Oliver Thorne, prosecuting, said the judge sentencing Neal at Teesside Crown Court in 2009 also made him subject of a sexual offences prevention order, prohibiting him from downloading any photograph from the Internet or attempting to contact anyone aged under 18.
Mr Thorne said as a result of inquiries into Neal contacting a 17-year-old girl, in May this year, officers visited his home and found a telephone hidden under the lounge settee.
“This was not the phone presented to police during the course of house monitoring visits made following his release from custody,” said Mr Thorne.
Examination of this phone revealed it contained 119 indecent images of children, including 40 at the two most serious categories for such material, plus five computer-generated images of children engaging in sexual activity.
“When he was interviewed there was some initial prevarication over what he had done, before he made admissions conceding that he knew what the images were that he was looking at."
Neal, 28, of James Street, Bishop Auckland, admitted two counts of breaching a sexual offences prevention order and one of possessing indecent images of children.
Mr Thorne said a further breach charge relating to Neal contacting the girl was not being pursued by the prosecution, as she was put in no danger and was “just short” of 18 at the time.
Tom Mitchell, mitigating, said a Probation Service report, suggesting Neal is still considered to pose a potential threat to young people, “makes troubling reading”.
Mr Mitchell said: “He’s been portraying this kind of behaviour now for a few years and needs supervision and help.
“He may not get the help he needs in custody, but he needs it on his release.”
Jailing him, with a two-year extended licence period on his release, Recorder Toby Hedworth told Neal: “You know full well this is a major problem for you and needs to be dealt with.”
Recorder Hedworth said the existing restrictive orders placed on Neal should all continue on his release.
Comments are closed on this article.