An ex-Radio One DJ who arranged to have sex with vulnerable children in the Philippines has had a jail term increased from 12 years to 18 years by Court of Appeal judges.

Mark Page was given a 12-year sentence by a judge at Teesside Crown Court in March after being convicted of arranging the commission of a child sex offence between 2016 and 2019.

Three appeal judges on Friday concluded the 12-year sentence was unduly lenient, at a Court of Appeal hearing in London, after an application by Solicitor General Alex Chalk.

During his trial, the jury heard how the 63-year-old paid money to sexually exploit vulnerable Filipino children for his own depraved sexual gratification.

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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.

Page, from Ingleby Barwick, was found guilty of two counts of attempting to cause/incite a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity and two counts of arranging/facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child aged 13-17 years.

The Northern Echo: Mark Page after his arrest. Picture: CLEVELAND POLICEMark Page after his arrest. Picture: CLEVELAND POLICE

Three appeal court judges on Friday concluded that the 12-year sentence was unduly lenient, at a Court of Appeal hearing in London, after an application by Solicitor General Alex Chalk.

Lord Justice William Davis, Mr Justice Martin Spencer and Judge Kristina Montgomery concluded that Page’s “overall criminality” was not reflected by the 12-year sentence.

Barrister Benjamin Holt, who represented Mr Chalk at the appeal hearing, had raised concerned about the “totality” of the 12-year term.

A barrister representing Page had argued that the sentence was too long.

Trevor Burke QC suggested that the term should be cut to 10 years.

Lord Justice William Davis said the appeal panel had concluded that the sentence was unduly lenient.

He said Page’s “overall criminality” was “not reflected” by the sentence Judge Peter Watson QC had imposed.

In March, the Recorder of Middlesbrough 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."

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