August 2018

Pervert from Haslingden has been described as ‘one of the most dangerous’ in the region

A convicted pervert who a court heard wants to travel to other countries to have sex with children has lost an appeal restricting his movements abroad.

Jason Leonard, from Haslingden, has been described by police bosses at a court hearing as ‘one of the most dangerous’ registered sex offenders in the region.

The 37-year-old brazenly admitted to wanting the freedom to travel to a country where the age of consent is lower so he could form a sexual relationship, the court heard.

Police told the hearing Leonard had told them his ‘ideal’ partner, would be aged between 12 and 14, Burnley Crown Court was told.

A judge heard that Leonard claims paedophiles in the UK are being ‘persecuted’ and likens his treatment by society to that of ‘homosexuals 40 years ago’.

However, after losing a court appeal, he will now only be granted permission to travel abroad if he has written permission from a police chief constable.

Leonard was jailed for 32 months in 2013 after downloading 251 indecent images of children and then sharing them on the internet.

He was given a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) to monitor his internet use, however Lancashire Police said it was now no longer ‘sufficient to manage his risk’ and were granted a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) by magistrates in April this year.

The SHPO includes additional measures preventing benefit claimant Leonard from having any unsupervised contact with a child under 16 without express permission of a parent/guardian or social services and does not allow him to travel outside the UK without prior written permission from the chief constable of the area he is living in.

Leonard claimed the new order was ‘completely disproportionate’ and made an appeal to Burnley Crown Court to have the SHPO revoked.

Detective Constable Andrew Ashworth, who manages more than 90 registered sex offenders in Lancashire, told the Crown Court hearing that Leonard is ‘one of the most dangerous offenders I have met’ and that he posed an ‘exceptional risk’.

He said: “Mr Leonard is unique. In the 10 years performing this role I have never met a sexual offender who quite openly acknowledges his paedophilic tendencies. He is exceptional and has been risked as exceptional.

“Mr Leonard has expressed his desire to leave the country because he believes the police, judiciary and government in this country are persecuting paedophiles.

“He is very vocal and adamant about this persecution.

“He likens it to the persecution of homosexuals 40 years ago.

“He believes that in the fullness of time paedophilia will be accepted in the same way that homosexuality is today.

“He has expressed a desire to move to other European countries. He has talked about the Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy because he believes they have a lower age of consent in the mid to low teens.”

The appeal hearing was told that Leonard watches ‘very child orientated’ adult pornography with ‘models dressed to look like cheerleaders or in school uniforms’.

When DC Ashworth asked Leonard in March this year what age is too young for sexual activity he replied ‘if a child is old enough to talk it’s old enough to have sex’, the court was told, and that when Leonard was asked about his views on rape he replied ‘no comment’.

DC Ashworth added: “[Leonard] has accepted that his mother, who he has a close connection with, is a factor in holding him back as to his sexual lifestyle.

“He has indicated that when she dies, and she is an elderly woman in her 80s, he will go abroad to seek children. For me the only pro-social influence in his life at the moment is his mother and that’s purely because she is alive.”

Judge Sara Dodd dismissed Leonard’s appeal and said he was ‘deeply disturbed’ with a ‘frankly alarming attitude to paedophilia’.

December 2014

Judge condemns laws that leave him powerless to give dangerous paedophile tough sentence

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Paedophile Jason Leonard pictured above

A senior judge has condemned politicians for leaving him powerless to give a “dangerous” paedophile a tough prison term.

Judge Andrew Woolman said laws had left him with no choice but to hand sex offender Jason Leonard a “completely academic” sentence after he breached his licence conditions.

Leonard, 33, had only been out of prison for child abuse images offences for a few weeks when he defied his release conditions by accessing the Internet.

His breach means Leonard will return to custody to serve the remainder of his original 32 month sentence, from which he was released early.

But Judge Woolman wanted to impose an additional term for the breach to run at the end of that sentence but was not allowed in law

Instead he was handed an eight month stretch for defying his Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo), which will run concurrently with his original sentence.

Judge Woolman, at Burnley Crown Court, said: “This was a very, very deliberate breach of the SOPO and if I had the powers, I would undoubtedly have made this sentence consecutive to the current sentence.

“But Parliament for reasons best known to itself had abolished the right of judges to return a defendant to custody to serve the balance of a sentence and to impose a term to then be served. That is a sad loss of power to the judiciary and one which does not serve the public at all. The sentence today, sadly, is completely academic.”

He added: ” There is no evidence at the moment that you have used your access to the Internet to download indecent images of children, so I have no choice but to sentence you on what you say, that there isn’t. You are clearly a dangerous sex offender. There is no question about that. I don’t suppose that anything the court is going to do is likely to change your attitude.”

Leonard – who believes it is “perfectly all right” for adults to have sex with children – was originally arrested in January 2012 after police had raided the home he shared with his elderly mother in Haslingden.

Officers found a stash of 251 photographs of youngsters on his computer – five of which were of the most serious kind. Inquiries revealed Leonard had also been distributing the pornography on a file sharing website – allowing fellow perverts worldwide to look at the vile pictures.

He originally intended to take his case to trial so he could air his ‘distorted’ views on sex to a jury. But in June 2013 he was jailed after admitting charges of distributing an indecent photograph of a child in January 2011, and allegations of making an indecent photograph of a child, between August 2011 and January last year.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely, was banned from working with children for life, and was given an indefinite sexual offences prevention order. Under the order, he was not allowed to use any device capable of accessing the Internet, unless it has the capacity to retain, and display, the history and he makes it available for inspection by police on request.

He was also prohibited from deleting the history, from using any software that deletes it, and must not possess any device capable of storing digital images unless he makes it available for police inspection on request.

Leonard was freed in October this year after serving just 14 months of his sentence. But last month police went to check on his welfare as he had been “outed” as a sex offender by a leaflet and poster campaign in the area, and found a laptop at his home.

They then unearthed an external hard drive, fitted with encryption software, which he had hidden in a plastic bag and buried in a plant pot in the kitchen. The hard drive is being examined by police experts but it may take months or longer because of their workload.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said Leonard had told police the laptop had no Internet access and he had been playing games on it. He continued : ” It was apparent, on examination, it had been connected to the Internet over the preceding days.” The defendant was arrested and questioned and said he bought the hard drive and encryption software before he was sentenced.

Bernadette Baxter, defending Leonard, said he bought the hard drive to download mainstream movies and TV shows whilst he was awaiting sentence. She continued : ” He knows he should have disposed of it because of the sentence and he didn’t do so. However, he is adamant that the device, when analysed, will not reveal any indecent images of children.”

Miss Baxter said Leonard was mindful of the shame he had brought on his 77-year-old mother. She added: ” He has learned a salutary lesson by being brought back to custody and being brought back before the courts.”

November 2014

East Lancs paedophile used internet after ban – and buried hard drive in plant pot

A 33-YEAR-OLD pervert was caught breaching a sexual offences prevention order because of a ‘vigilante’ poster and leaflet campaign.

Blackburn magistrates heard police went to Jason Leonard’s home because of concerns for his safety.

But when he was questioned about a laptop computer Leonard eventually unearthed a hard drive he had buried in a plant pot.

Prosecutor Catherine Allan told the court that device was being examined and further charges could follow.

Leonard, of Pilling Street, Haslingden, pleaded guilty to breaching a SOPO and was sent in custody to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced.

Miss Allan said Leonard had been sent to prison for 32 months in June 2013 for internet child porn offences. He was also made subject to a SOPO which prohibited him from having any encryption device or access to the internet.

After his release a number of posters and leaflets had been distributed in the community, telling people he was a sex offender and a risk to children.

“Officers paid him a protection visit because of concerns for his wellbeing and found a laptop in the room which had recently downloaded files,” said Miss Allan

“He couldn’t explain how he had managed to download without access to the internet and then recovered the hard drive from the plant pot in the kitchent.

“He knew he shouldn’t have had it and he lied to officers about having it.”

She said the hard drive had been wrapped in a plastic bag before being buried.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said his client had already been recalled on prison licence.

During the previous hearing in 2013, Leonard admitted charges of distributing an indecent photograph of a child in January 2011, and allegations of making an indecent photograph of a child, between August 2011 and January last year.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely, was banned from working with children for life, and was given an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.

Under the order, he was not allowed to use any device capable of accessing the internet, unless it has the capacity to retain, and display, the history and he made it available for inspection by police on request.

He was also prohibited from deleting the history, using any software that deletes it, and was not allowed to possess any device capable of storing digital images unless he made it available for police inspection on request.

June 2013

Jail for Nelson pervert who distributed indecent images of children

A PAEDOPHILE who allowed fellow perverts worldwide to look at vile child abuse images has been jailed for 32 months.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Jason Leonard, 32, was found to have a stash of hundreds of child abuse pictures on his computer when police raided his home, in Haslingden, in January last year.

The hearing was told Leonard had ‘distorted views’ about child sex abuse, and a judge said she made it plain that, but for case law she was obliged to follow, she would have found him to be a dangerous offender.

Leonard, of Pilling Street, admitted charges of distributing an indecent photograph of a child in January 2011, and allegations of making an indecent photograph of a child, between August 2011 and January last year.

He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely, was banned from working with children for life, and was given an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.

Under the order, he is not allowed to use any device capable of accessing the internet, unless it has the capacity to retain, and display, the history and he makes it available for inspection by police on request.

He is prohibited from deleting the history, from using any software that deletes it, and must not possess any device capable of storing digital images unless he makes it available for police inspection on request.

Michael Wallbank, prosecuting, said police had seized a number of items of computer equipment from his home, which were sent to the high-tech crime unit for examination.

A large number of indecent images were found.

He was interviewed, and said he had downloaded and viewed indecent images.

He further admitted using file sharing websites and, by doing so, he allowed users worldwide to access, and view, the pictures. The prosecutor said five images of level five – the most serious level – were discovered, 87 at level four, 50 at level three, 36 at level two and 73 at level one. Leonard had distributed images of level five, four, three and one.

Philip Holden, for Leonard, said he had been frank, to say the least, with the probation service.

Judge Beverley Lunt told the defendant his pre-sentence report “made quite disturbing reading”.