January 2019

Chatroom paedophile jailed

A paedophile who asked other men if they “would like to abuse a baby” has been locked up for three years.

Stephen James Lee, of Lynton Drive, off Toller Lane, Bradford, told police his offending, which involved possessing 111 indecent images of children, was “like an addiction”.

The 45-year-old married man was found to have 23 of the most serious images of children being abused on his devices when police searched his home.

Lee had already been made subject to a community order in 2013 in a bid to help him stop his sordid crimes, but he failed to turn his life around and was jailed for two years in August 2015.

He carried on offending when he was released on licence, and started logging onto chatrooms to receive the images between May 6 and July 13 of 2017.

Bradford Crown Court heard police were tipped off about his actions and when they arrested him at his home in Cheapside, Bradford, he told officers: “It’s like an addiction.

“It’s like role play. I’m not fussed about the images I wouldn’t touch anyone.”

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, one charge of distributing an image, possession of a prohibited image of a child and the breach of a sexual harm prevention order.

His Honour Judge Jonathan Rose sentenced him to three years in prison for the crimes.

He said: “It’s somewhat troubling to read in your pre-sentence report that you completed a sex offender’s treatment programme during the currency of that sentence.

“These images are almost always depraved and in your case involved the abuse of children.”

In an unusual step, Lee spoke out in court after his sentencing and before he was taken to prison.

He said: “I realise the sentence you have given me and I will work hard in the prison system and outside the prison system, so I don’t re-offend and I realise the whole spectrum of my offending.

“I will make sure I work doubly hard so I don’t re-appear at court in this nature.”