Hartlepool pensioner caught with 3,000 indecent images of children is jailed after breaching order

A pensioner has been jailed for breaching the terms of a court order he was slapped with after downloading indecent images of children.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 6:57 pm
Updated Monday, 28th October 2019, 12:03 pm

Michael Ross, aged 71, failed to tell police about a laptop computer and two mobile phones during a visit to his home to check up on him.

He was required to tell them about all devices he had that were capable of accessing the internet under the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

Ross was made the subject of the order by Teesside Crown Court in December 2017 after he was given a suspended prison sentence for downloading almost 3,000 indecent images of children and 272 extreme pornographic images over a ten-year period.

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The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

He admitted a further breach of the order on September 26 this year by deleting the internet history on a smart television after viewing legal pornography when it reset itself.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said: “During the course of a search [of his house] further internet enabled devices were located; a laptop in the bedroom and two mobile phones in the kitchen.”

Police found 41 images at the most serious level, 32 at the next level and 2,895 at the lowest on nine different devices. He was also made the subject of the SHPO indefinitely to help prevent him viewing similar images.

Referring to the breaches of the order Andrew Teate, mitigating, said Ross had told police about the laptop and mobile phones on a previous visit and were not hidden.

Mr Teate said: “It was an oversight on his behalf. He had forgotten about them as they were no longer in use.”

He added there had been no contact or harm caused to anyone.

Recorder Patrick Palmer jailed Ross for a total of 10 months, including activating two months of the previously suspended sentence.

The laptop computer and two mobile phones were ordered to be destroyed.