A MAN who used his grandmother’s internet to upload child abuse and stole a pensioner’s phone to access extreme images has been jailed.

Shaun Fearon was sentenced to one year in prison after he tried to bite a phone in half to prevent police discovering hundreds of indecent images of children he had downloaded on the device which previously belonged to a 79-year-old woman.

The 36-year-old stole the pensioner’s phone from her car and within one month downloaded 240 images of child sex abuse, some featuring children as young as three-years-old.

Teesside Crown Court heard Fearon had previously uploaded child abuse online from his grandmother’s house and managed to avoid the police for two years – but was finally arrested in March this year.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said: “Police were alerted to images of child abuse being uploaded to the internet from an address which was traced to a property in July 2017. Police officers obtained a warrant.

“The resident was an elderly lady, she was not in possession of any device with internet cables, they belonged to her grandson. He was aware police were looking to speak to him but it was two years before they were able to.

“Officers eventually found him at a hostel in March 2019. He was in a room and sat on the bed. They spotted a phone on the bed which the defendant tried to cover with the duvet. His response was ‘You’re not seeing that one’.

“The officers tried to take it but he struggled and put the phone in his mouth, he tried to bite it in half. The phone was retrieved and examined. It was revealed the phone belonged to a 79-year-old lady and it was stolen in February from her car when she was out visiting her niece.

“There were more than 100 images were found of sexual abuse against very young children, some as young as three and four."

He described some images as "extreme", involving bestiality and an image which showed a threat or danger to life.

“The majority of the images found were of children under 10-years-old, some of them were as young as three or four.”

She said Fearon denied being sexually attracted to children but admitted he was a “porn addict” who would do “weird sh**” after taking drugs.

During mitigation, John Nixon, defending, said: “He has struggled with drugs over the years, this offence is related to his drug misuse. He has expressed remorse and regret for his actions.”

He added Fearon, who 17 previous convictions including benefit fraud and shop lifting, previously referred himself to a rehabilitation unit and believes he can address his problems with the right support.

Fearon, of Borough Road, Middlesbrough, was sentenced to one year in prison. He pleaded guilty to theft, possession of extreme pornography and making indecent images of children.