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2nd Jul, 2022

Stratford man escapes jail after hidden phone contained child pornography

Editorial Correspondent 18th Jan, 2021 Updated: 18th Jan, 2021

A STRATFORD man whose flashing smart watch gave away a hidden phone containing indecent images of children, has escaped jail.

Karl Ramsay, pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children and to breaching a sexual harm prevention order imposed in 2016.

Because he had already spent the equivalent of a 12-month sentence on remand in custody, Ramsay of Milestone Road, Stratford, escaped jail and was given a three year community order. He was also ordered to take part in a sex offender programme, 180 hours of unpaid work and to register as a sex offender for five years.

In 2016 Ramsay had been given a community order for downloading more than 900 indecent images of children. He was also subject to a sexual harm prevention order under which he was obliged to disclose to the police any device he obtained which could connect to the internet and to make it available for inspection.

But in August 2019 the police went to Ramsay’s home and seized his phone which contained almost 700 indecent images of children in naked or indecent poses. Six images of children involved in sex acts were classed in the ‘serious’ category, and around 100 were of children involved in sexual activity.

He was due to be sentenced but the case was adjourned after a further police visit led to the discovery of another phone.

When questioned, Ramsay denied having another device, but the officers noticed he was wearing a smart watch with a flashing blue light indicating a Bluetooth connection. Police found the phone hidden behind a book case with nearly 200 images on it.

Andrew Tucker, defending, said: “He went something like three years without breaching the sexual harm prevention order.

“There were very few images in category A, and all of those were inaccessible to him at the time they were recovered.

“He has served the equivalent of something like a 12-month sentence. He has been identified as someone who is in need of help and support. He has not been written off by the probation service.”

Sentencing Ramsay, Judge Peter Cooke told him: “You richly deserve some more time in custody.

“You were given an opportunity in 2016 to deal with your predilections for viewing child pornography without losing your liberty.

“The acid test of an order like that is that you stop your offending – but you didn’t, you continued trawling the internet for this filth.

“But you are not very far away from serving what would be an appropriate sentence, and you would come out with a limited amount of supervision.

“An alternative course presents itself solely for the reason that you have had significant punishment already of the equivalent of very nearly 12 months in custody.”

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