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Paedophile told not to blame mental illness for offences
A paedophile who refused to tell police the passwords to his computers was told by a judge he could not blame it on his mental illness.
Steven Frost was first convicted of offences involving indecent images of children in 2007, and has repeatedly been back before the courts for further offences and breaching the conditions routinely given to sex offenders.
His latest arrest took place in February last year, when Leicestershire Police, who had been monitoring Frost but had lost track of him, discovered him living at an address in Corby and arrested him for breaching a court order.
The officers also seized a phone and two tablet computers and asked him to give them the passwords so they could check them for illegal images.
Frost refused to answer any of their questions during his first two interviews, and later told them he had forgotten the passwords.
The 46-year-old appeared before Judge Ebraham Mooncey at Leicester Crown Court on Friday where he was sentenced for failing to comply with the requirements of the sex offenders register, which include keeping address details up to date, and three counts of breaching the order requiring him to help police access his online devices.
His lawyer, Hamilton Eddy, tried to urge the judge to give his client a non-custodial sentence, rather than lock him up.
He said Frost had “numerous and complex issues” including depression, personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Commenting on a psychological report about Frost, Mr Eddy said: “The report describes at length how he is shutting himself off and burying his head in the sand.”
He said that that condition was the reason Frost, formerly of Stratford Road, Birmingham, had refused to talk to the police and help them unlock his online devices.
Mr Eddy went on to say Frost’s offending might not be so bad if his psychological problems had been diagnosed sooner.
He said: “His previous convictions are symptoms of the same disease. Mr Frost was undiagnosed for many years and had he had more support then his record may not have been what it is.”
But the judge, sentencing the defendant to two years and two months in prison, said Frost could not blame his refusal to co-operate on his illness.
Judge Mooncey told Frost: “The idea you were somehow under a disability when you refused to provide access to your devices is fanciful in my view.
“I’m pleased to hear you have now realised you need help and that help is available but that will have to wait – a custodial sentence is inevitable.
“I would be failing in my duty if I did anything other than impose a custodial sentence today.”
Earlier in the hearing, the judge heard how Frost had breached numerous orders in the past.
His first conviction in 2007 was followed by a breach in 2009, when he was found with indecent images of children and jailed for 12 months.
In 2011, he breached the court’s order again and was jailed for 24 months.
Frost was back in court in 2014 for breaching the order yet again, and also faced nine child sexual abuse images charges and three charges of common assault, which led to him being jailed for three years and four months.
Another breach in 2016 resulted in a community order, plus unpaid work.
In the autumn of that year, the police lost touch with him and did not find him again until his arrest in February 2018.
Leicestershire Police had last been notified he was living at an address in Leicester, but in April 2017 he had moved in with a female partner in Corby, where he was arrested.
Between his arrest and Friday’s sentencing hearing Frost once again breached the notification requirement, and has been in custody since November 13 last year.