THE fall from grace of an ex-Radio 1 presenter is now complete as he is jailed for 12 years for ‘grotesque’ child sex offences.

Mark Page paid money to sexually exploit vulnerable Filipino children for his own depraved sexual gratification.

The 63-year-old pervert even haggled over the price when he was arranging to have sex with a teenage boy and a 12-year-old girl.

Teesside Crown Court heard how he 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.

Page then travelled to the Philippines with the intention of fulfilling his sexual fantasies of sexual abusing young girls and a teenage boy.

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Judge Paul Watson QC told the defendant that he was a ‘serial’ sexual offender over a three-year period.

He said: “The offence for which you have been convicted involve the grotesque sexual abuse of young children for your own sexual gratification.

“You took advantage of their poverty and deprivation in an under-developed country where children are routinely forces through deprivation into acts of prostitution.

“Your sole purpose was to engage children, as young as 12, in vile sexual activity to satisfy your perverted appetites.

"It did not matter to you that you were robbing them of the innocence of their childhoods, it did not matter to you what long-term trauma and emotional damage you were leading them to.

"You obviously delighted in their humiliation and the satisfaction of your own corrupt sexual desires. This was, in my view, the very embodiment of depravity and only a substantial custodial sentence can be justified.

The judge told Page that if his offences had occurred in this country he would have been facing charges of rape where sexual activity took place.

The defendant was found guilty of four charges of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence between August 2016, and April 2019. He was cleared of a fifth charge.

Hiding behind his charity work and radio businesses, Page made regular visits to the Far East but also took full advantage of Skype calls to fulfil his depraved sexual behaviour by paying children to perform sex acts online.

He used a number of aliases to set up dating website profiles and Skype accounts in an attempt to mask his true identity, the jurors heard during the trial.

Page shared a number of messages with a woman called ‘LovelyZamora7’ while he was making arrangements for children to be sent to his hotel when he travelled to the Philippines.

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.

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

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’.

Throughout the trial Page, of Snowdrop Close, Stockton, maintained that his online accounts had been hacked as someone tried to ‘frame’ him for the sex crimes.

He was also made subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

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