A MAN who reported finding indecent images on a second-hand mobile phone accused the seller of being a paedophile on a sign displayed in his living room window.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that Kane Lucas Liam Durham had the sign up for all to see which named the man and shared his address.

Oriana Frame, prosecuting, said the man named in the sign did not live at the address, but it was in fact the home of his parents and a teenager who had suffered harassment as a result.

One of the victims said in a statement that when the sign was put up her phone was ringing “non-stop” and her family was also subject to harassment on social media.

The statement added: “The sign is causing us a great deal of anxiety and I am extremely distressed and scared of how this is going to affect my family, I am scared that something might happen.”

Ben Pegman, representing Durham, said: “Mr Durham purchased the mobile phone and he searched through the internet history.

“He was very disturbed to find searches for indecent images of children and went straight to the police and handed the phone in.

“As a result the man he bought the phone from was subsequently arrested.

“Mr Durham then went back to the police to check on the progress of the case because he was concerned for the safety of children who lived in the area.

“After being told the investigation is still ongoing he has then gone home and put up the sign.

“He is unswerving in his belief that he was seeking to inform people of someone who might be a genuine threat to children.

“It is just regrettable that the parents have become implicated in this and perhaps with some forethought he may have considered that.

“He is showing a great deal of restraint in the circumstances, a lot more than he would have when he was a younger man and a regular attender at court.

“[The man named in the sign] is released under police investigation and I cannot go into any further detail than that.”

Durham, of Arkle Crescent, Darlington, pleaded guilty to displaying a threatening and abusive sign likely to cause harassment and distress on Friday, November 15.

Colin Beadle, chair of the bench, said: “As a result of a telephone purchase he has found indecent images and has rightly given the phone to police.

“He then, after what he considered to be an undue delay, put a sign in the window which has caused a great deal of distress to the victim.”

After agreeing that the case was an unusual one, Mr Beadle handed Durham, 29, a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered £100 of compensation to be paid to the victims who suffered harassment.