April 2018

Well-known plumber escapes jail for viewing sick child abuse images

A plumber has been handed a suspended sentence after he was found to have viewed almost 2,000 images of sexual abuse involving children as young as two.

Paul Phillips, 38, carried out the offences over an eight year period and was found to have images on his desktop computer, laptop and USB stick – 254 of the photos and videos were classed as the most serious type, category A.

Phillips, a successful tradesman in the Barnstaple area, pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children and was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence by Recorder Paul Dunkels at Exeter Crown Court on Monday morning.

The court heard how Phillips was arrested at his home after police linked him to an email address that was found to be uploading images of child sexual abuse.

Search terms were also found on his computer relating to abuse of children.

Having been bailed Phillips travelled to Latvia to attempt to patch things up with his estranged partner but when this failed he was arrested again at an airport as he tried to catch a flight to Ireland.

Phillips, currently of no fixed abode, must also comply with a sexual offences order.