October 2017

Sex offender said he was developing a ‘dating app’

A sex offender claimed he was developing a ‘dating app’ with a phone he kept in his wardrobe.

James Hyland, 43, received a spot-check by an officer as part of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for previously being caught with almost 3,500 vile child abuse images.

He was supposed to make any ‘internet-capable devices’, such as phones or computers, available for inspection.

When the officer called round to his home in the unplanned visit on June 17, Hyland handed over his computer and a phone, Teesside Crown Court was told.

But after the home was searched, a second phone was found in a wardrobe, prosecutor Emma Atkinson said on Tuesday.

She said Hyland told police it was a spare phone, referring to developing an app “targeted towards children” which he wanted to test out.

Hyland, of Timothy Court, Stockton, said he had the phone for about two months and did not pass it over for inspection.

But it appeared the phone was not analysed after it was seized.

Hyland admitted breaching the SHPO.

Mr Cleasby added: “There’s no excuse for it,” but said: “There’s no suggestion that the phone had been used to access indecent images.”

He said Hyland otherwise complied with supervision, but he was suspected as being on the autism spectrum and needed further assessment.

Judge Peter Armstrong said Hyland’s latest offence was “more of a technical breach” and he agreed with a “well-argued” pre-sentence report which suggested he be put into treatment.

Hyland was given a two-year community order with a sex offender treatment programme, 30 days’ rehabilitation activity, a £100 fine and £100 costs.

The 3,500 images that he was originally sentenced for came from an “exceptionally large” stash – in excess of 800,000 – which were all not looked at due to the huge volume, a court heard in January.

After admitting making indecent images of children, Hyland was given a 10-month jail term suspended for two years, and received a five-year sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

Hyland accepted he had an interest in young children, and a “voyeuristic interest” as a lonely and isolated person with “non-existent” sexual experience, the court was told.

January 2017

Middle-aged Stockton man caught with more than 3,000 child abuse images

A middle-aged man who was caught with more than 3,000 child abuse images has been spared jail.

The judge said that James Hyland, 42, from Stockton, suffers from a treatable form of autism and he would be extremely vulnerable in prison.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court that officers from Cleveland Police’s Online Paedophile Investigation team received a report that there was child sexual abuse images being downloaded from a house in Thornaby.

When officers went to his home with a search warrant on November 18, 2015, which revealed two units in his bedroom and there were 1,861 items of child porn at the most serious Level A including nine movies, 1,331 at Level B including three movies and 255 images at Level C.

In interview he did accept that he had an interest in young children, which he blamed on his “insufficiency”.

Judge Shaun Morris told Hyland: “I have no doubt that if I were to send you to prison you would be extremely vulnerable.

“You know right from wrong so you are right to be punished but it would be wrong to send you inside.”

Hyland, of Timothy Court, Stockton, was sentenced to 10 months jail suspended for two years with a Sexual Offence’s Prevention Order for five years, an activities requirement and he was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years after he pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children.


October 2016

Stockton man admits having 3,435 indecent photographs of children

A man could face prison after he admitted having more than 3,000 indecent pictures of children.

James Hyland, 42, pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent photographs of children at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

He admitted making a total of 3,435 illegal images on dates before November 18 last year.

Paul Cleasby, defending, said: “There’s a real risk of a custodial sentence in this case.”

He asked for sentencing to be adjourned for pre-sentence reports and psychiatric reports to be prepared.

Judge Howard Crowson agreed, bailing Hyland until he is expected to learn his fate on January 16 next year.

He told the defendant: “By that time we should have everything ready to sentence you.

“In order to get the right sentence I will want some more information about you.

“Bail doesn’t mean you won’t go to prison at the end of this. You might.”

Hyland, of Timothy Court, Stockton , will now be on the sex offenders’ register.