Convicted Paedophile jailed for a THIRD TIME after being found with more child abuse images

A convicted paedophile has been jailed for a third time after he was discovered with indecent images – including on a phone he took to prison last time he was locked up.

Stephen Phillips has twice previously been imprisoned for possession of child abuse images. After his last sentence, in 2019, police attended HMP Holme House, in Stockton, and seized a phone belonging to Phillips which had been left in his property. On it were two of the most serious, category A images and 11 category C.

Then in May last year, police went to his home and found a phone hidden in an armchair and also a cardboard box containing USB memory sticks secreted in his bathroom behind some water pipes. Hundreds more indecent images were found on them, including two boys and a girl aged between 8 and 10 having sex. In total, Phillips had more than 4,000 child abuse images.

Judge Edward Legard, at Newcastle Crown Court, said: “These are not victimless crimes, far from it. Those who appear in these images are often young, highly vulnerable children, often recruited from impoverished backgrounds, who are forced into performing degrading sexual acts or are exploited and abused by others to feed the sexual gratification of people like you.

“It’s you and many others like you who are ultimately responsible for creating a market for this type of highly offensive and damaging material. The lives of young children can be and often are permanently scarred and it’s you and those like you who must bear responsibility for it.”

The court heard Phillips was convicted of indecent images offences in 2003 and 2019 and was given short prison sentences on both occasions. When he was sentenced in 2019 he was given a sexual harm prevention order, which included an obligation to register any devices with the police and banned him from having devices capable of storing digital images without authorisation from the police.

The 63-year-old, of Beaumont Street, Blyth, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to breaching both of those conditions and also admitted indecent images offences and was locked up for a total of 44 months. He must sign the sex offenders register indefinitely and was given a new sexual harm