A FORMER Radio 1 DJ and football club announcer accused of child sex offences made more than 100 payments to people in the Far East, a court has heard.

Mark Page signed up to an online dating agency, Filipino Cupid, before engaging in sexually explicit conversations with a young girl and offering to pay them to perform sex acts.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Page travelled to the Philippines with the intention of fulfilling his sexual fantasises of sexual abusing young girls and a teenage boy.

The 63-year-old is facing five charges of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence between August 2016, and April 2019.

Jo Kidd, prosecuting, said allegations of his offending came to light after Facebook raised concerns about the online behaviour of an account associated with Page.

Following an investigation, the information was passed to Cleveland Police who raided his home in January 2020 and recovered three digital devices, a mobile phone, a tablet, and a computer.

Forensic analysis of his internet history recovered details of numerous online conversations Page had made with the underage girl and revealed details of payments made using his credit card to accounts in the Far East.

Ms Kidd said: "The Prosecution case is that Mark Page arranged to contact and meet children in the Philippines and the purpose of the communication was to arrange to carry out child sex offences over web cams and also when he travelled to the Philippines.

"He used charity as a cover to meet up with underage people in order to meet them for sex."

The jury heard how Page was in the Philippines in October 2016 and sent a number of text messages arranging to meet up with the young girl for sex.

In a series of explicit messages before his arrival and after he stayed at a hotel in the Makati area, Page asked the girl to arrange for him to have sex with a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy.

Ms Kidd said payments made from Page’s credit card showed the cash had been sent to an account based in the Philippines.

She added: “In counts 1,2 and 3 - we can see a payment £16.51 sent to the Philippines and the exchange rate made that 1,000 pesos.

“We can see the information provided - Mark Page’s date of birth and account was used - along with his credit card number and his address at the time Elton Manor, Stockton.”

PC Steve Rookes, from Cleveland Police’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team, told the jury that a forensic analysis was carried out on the defendant’s digital devices which placed Page in the Philippines at the time of the alleged offence.

Records from Western Union showed how Page made 164 payments to individuals in the Far East, including Thailand and Philippines, over a number of years.

The jury heard there was a number of messages between Page and the girl where they are discussing how much it would cost to meet up.

Several hours later, there was another message from Page simply saying – ‘thanks babe’.

The court had heard how Police had looked on Page's computer and found recent search for ‘age of consent Philippines?’.

Page, of Snowdrop Close, Stockton, denies the charges.

The trial, which is expected to last seven days, continues.

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