Repeat sex offender jailed again after being caught with indecent images of children
An “artist” with a shocking history of serious sex offending has been put behind bars after being caught with indecent pictures of children.
Frank Cousins, who sells his artwork and sculptures to customers at trade fairs, has previously served a nine year jail sentence for a sex attack and been convicted three times in the past for possessing vile images.
The 51-year-old, who was already the subject of a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order, had his home raided by the police after a tip-off last April.
Officers found two mobile phones containing over 100 indecent pictures of children, one believed to be as young as 5, being abused.
At Newcastle Crown Court Cousins, who was previously sentenced for crimes while living in Sunderland, pleaded guilty to three specimen charges of making indecent photographs.
The court heard his latest sickening collection included 70 category A images, which are the most serious category of their type. Prosecutor Paul Roland told the court: “The clear aggravating feature in this case is the previous convictions of the defendant for like offences.”
The court heard it was in 2000 Cousins was jailed for nine years for offences of gross indecency, indecent assault and possession of indecent images.
In 2007 he was given a suspended sentence for making indecent images. In 2010, while he was living in Sunderland, he was caught with a collection of similarly sickening images after being arrested for trying to take a photograph of a little girl at the Bridges Shopping Centre.
He was given a community sentence due to the time he had spent on remand. In 2012 he was caught with another illegal collection of images and given a further community order.
Judge Penny Moreland reminded Cousins, now of Locomotion Way, North Shields, that it is real children in real, horrifying situations that are featured in the pictures he had searched online for.
The judge told him: “One of the children who is depicted is a girl aged 5 to 9, depicted in a category A image. “That was a real child, a real little girl, aged five to nine, forced to do that so you can look at pictures of it happening.”
The judge sentenced Cousins to 12 months behind bars, with a 10-year sex offender registration.
Judge Moreland told him: “You have had three periods of supervision under the terms of various orders and you are still looking at these images of children, indecent images of children. “There is no reason to think any further period of supervision or intervention will prevent you from doing that.”
Paul Caulfield, defending, said Cousins sought professional help straight after his latest relapse, which happened during the breakdown of a relationship. Mr Caulfield said Cousins feels “hounded” by the press and has made a success of his business, “notwithstanding adverse publicity and obvious hostility he would attract in his local community”.
He added: “He is a self-employed artist and sculptor. He attends trade fairs and the like to sell his products. “He has managed to make his business succeed.” Mr Caulfield said the images on the phones had been deleted by Cousins and could only be retrieved using specialist software, which he did not have access to.
Child sex offender caught selling Star Wars toys to children from shopping centre toy stall
A child sex offender is selling Star Wars goodies to children from a shopping centre toy stall.
Twisted Frank Cousins was jailed for nine years in 2000 for indecent assault and taking indecent photographs.
He was again caught making indecent photos in 2007 and spotted trying to snap a girl of eight in his home town of Sunderland three years later. Only last week he was back in court for more sex offences.
When police raided his home in 2007, they found indecent images of children in a box of printed photographs, on a mobile phone and on a camera memory card.
Officers also found a stash of “extreme” images and Cousins, who had spent six months on remand, was given another three-year suspended prison term.
He was already on the Sex Offenders Register for life and banned from working with children after his 2000 conviction.
And last Wednesday he admitted three counts of possessing indecent images and was bailed to return to Newcastle Crown Court next month for sentencing.
In 2010, he was banned from using a computer or any mobile device with a camera. Yet he set up a business called Kustom Kollectables, selling Star Wars toys a online and from a stall at Royal Quays shopping complex in North Shields.
His venture was highlighted on the “UK database” – a website which keeps track of convicted sex offenders.
Cousins, 51, was pictured helping a young boy try on a Star Wars helmet. A photo shows stormtroopers and other models he had for sale. The images carry a warning to parents about his activities.
The 51-year-old has a record of re-offending and denial over his offences. He claimed images of children he was found with in 2010 were “artistic”.
Granted bail, he was caught a month later printing similar images at a Boots machine in The Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland.
He went on to admit making, taking and possessing indecent photographs of children and possessing extreme porn.
Judge John Evans said at Newcastle Crown Court: “He has failed to recognise his conduct is completely unacceptable. Taking photographs of other people’s children for his own purposes is invading the privacy of those individuals.
“A parent spotting him doing that is likely to be extremely offended.”
We arranged to meet Cousins at Royal Quays, close to the spot where he sold Star Wars figures, posing as a customer looking for a £95 Millennium Falcon model from the movie series.
When asked if he felt it was appropriate for a man with his record to sell toys, he said: “Are you going to pay me? This is my job. I charge £10 an hour.”
He then told cafe staff he was being “harassed” and went into a kitchen, before leaving with another man.
Cousins’ website confirmed he was selling toys and models at Royal Quays but states he is now looking for another venue.
Northumbria Police said as the subject of a Sex Offences Protection Order Cousins was monitored.
A review was “ongoing as a result of his most recent conviction”. If anyone was thought to be at risk the force would “take the matter through the criminal justice system”.
Serial sex pest back in court
A SERIAL sex offender was caught taking pictures of young children in a busy city centre.
Frank Cousins was spotted trying to snap a girl of about eight in Sunderland on March 22.
And when police raided his home, they found a series of indecent images of children in a box of printed photographs, on a mobile phone and on a camera memory card.
Officers also found a stash of “extreme porn” images, showing adult women engaging in sexual activity with various animals.
The 45-year-old, of Toward Road, Hendon, who claimed the images of children were “artistic”, was granted bail and caught a month later printing similar images at a machine in Boots in The Bridges shopping centre.
He was arrested again but protested he wasn’t doing anything illegal.
Cousins was jailed for nine years in 2000 for offences of indecent assault and taking indecent photographs and given a suspended sentence for making indecent photographs in 2007. He went on to admit a series of charges of of making, taking and possessing indecent photographs of children and possessing extreme pornography.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Cousins, who declined to attend the sentencing hearing and has spent the equivalent of a six-month sentence on remand, was given a community order for three years with supervision.
He is already bound to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from working with children for life.
Judge John Evans imposed a sexual offences prevention order which bans Cousins from owning or using a computer, camera, mobile phone containing a camera or any other recording device.
The judge said: “He has failed to recognise his conduct in this regard is completely unacceptable.
“Taking photographs of children for his own purposes, they are not his own children they are other people’s children, is invading the privacy of those individuals. It is conduct which is very likely to give rise to a breach of the peace because a parent spotting him doing that, even from a distance, is likely to be extremely offended.”