October 2017

Sex offender caught using ‘suggestive’ online nickname

A sex offender has been given a second suspended prison sentence after he used a suggestive online alias against the terms of a court order.

Thomas Holroyd, 22, was given an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years in February after he admitted making indecent photographs of children in 2015.

He was also given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) and ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

The SHPO banned him from using any alias, prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday.

He was told about the conditions and deleted apps and software from his phone, but did not seem to understand some aspects and said he had memory difficulties.

When he was visited by his offender manager on March 15, an inspection of his phone revealed he had accessed a website with a username, both with suggestive titles.

At first the officer did not realise Holroyd was not allowed to use aliases at all, merely that he had to register them, but Holroyd later admitted breaching the SHPO.

In interview Holroyd, of Hartington Road, central Stockton, became agitated and said it was “boring”.

He said “everyone hides their name” and, when told he was not allowed, claimed he did not care.

Alex Bousfield, defending, said Holroyd had significant difficulties and did care about the offence.

He said of the police interview: “He was acting as if he was some kind of surly teenager really.

“He felt whatever he was going to say wasn’t going to make any difference. He has problems with learning difficulties. He’s clearly become frustrated and reacted like that.

“He wants to comply with the order. He is being compliant with the police. There have been no further difficulties.”

Mr Bousfield said Holroyd had struggled to comprehend the order and it was explained to him, but even the officer initially misunderstood its terms.

He said it was a “very technical breach” and Holroyd understood why the court order was in place.

He told how Holroyd’s devices were originally examined because he had sent some abusive messages, and he was badly bullied as a child.

“It sounds like a fairly horrendous time and he railed against that,” added Mr Bousfield.

“There have been efforts by the courts not to criminalise him in the past.”

Judge Simon Hickey told Holroyd: “Your case is a very unusual case.”

He decided it would be unjust to lock him up, given his background and mental health difficulties.

He gave Holroyd a new two-month jail term suspended for a year, adding to the 18-month suspended sentence he already has.

He added: “Twenty months really is waiting for you if you breach the SHPO or if you commit any further offence.”

February 2017

Offenders who access child abuse images spared jail

Offenders convicted of accessing child abuse images are being sent on tough courses to stamp out their obsessions.

Highly trained counsellors are running the sessions for the rising numbers of internet perverts tracked down by Cleveland Police’s Online Paedophile Protection team.

The courses are alternatives to immediate jail sentences in cases where the number of images are low with few at the most serious Level A and the public protection can be guaranteed.

On Friday Thomas Holroyd, 22, from Stockton , who admitted making indecent photographs of children between April and June 2015, was given an 18 months jail sentence suspended for two years at Teesside Crown Court with a rehabilitation requirement of 35 days.

Holroyd, of Dovecot Street, Stockton, was told by Judge Tony Briggs: “This will include you having to go to sessions which you will find uncomfortable just to bring it home to you that these are serious matters.

“It can only come into existence by means of the suffering of children.”

Holroyd was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and he was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Timothy Burke, 56, from Guisborough , was dealt with at the same court after he pleaded guilty to making and possessing indecent photographs of children after police took a search warrant to his home on June 18 last year.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said that the police team found a number of internet devices and they seized a quantity of DVDs and compact discs.

Burke had been making indecent photographs of children including 15 at Level A, 26 at Level B and 56 at Level B.

Mr Hadfield added: “He had been using research for indecent photographs of children.

“He admitted in his second interview that it was all his collection.

“One aggravating feature of the case is that it included movies, one of which was 23 minutes long.”