February 2019

Pair who had graphic chats and distributed child abuse images online avoid prison

Two men who had graphic chats and distributed child abuse images online have both avoided prison.

Keith Richards, 39, and Stuart Johnson aka Steven Mallett, 48, both faced sentence having admitted making and distributing indecent pictures of children .

Richards had pleaded guilty to nine offences – seven charges of distributing and two of making indecent images of children.

Johnson had admitted three charges of making and three of distributing indecent images of children, and two of voyeurism.

It was alleged he observed two women for sexual gratification in Redcar between January and March last year.

At a previous hearing, prosecutor Emma Atkinson said the two men had conversed via a messaging app.

“The contents are graphic to say the least,” she said.

They appeared for sentence at Teesside Crown Court on Friday.

Judge Peter Armstrong gave each of the men a 16-month prison sentence suspended for two years with 30 days’ rehabilitation activity including a sex offender treatment programme.

They were given sexual harm prevention orders and will be on the sex offenders’ register, all for 10 years.

Johnson, of Marine Court, Saltburn , was given an indefinite restraining order and ordered to pay £500 costs.

Richards, of Master Road, Thornaby , was ordered to pay £440 costs.

January 2019

‘Graphic to say the least’: Pair of perverts had online chats and shared child abuse images

Two men who had ‘graphic’ chats online are to be sentenced for distributing images of child abuse.

Keith Richards, 39, and Stuart Johnson, aka Steven Mallett, 38, are both waiting to learn their fates at Teesside Crown Court.

Richards appeared in the dock alone on Tuesday, having pleaded guilty to nine offences.

He had admitted seven charges of distributing and two of making indecent images of children at Teesside Magistrates’ Court last month.

Johnson had admitted three charges of making and three of distributing indecent images of children, and two of voyeurism.

It was alleged he observed two women for sexual gratification in Redcar between January and March last year.

He was not listed to appear in crown court and will be sentenced on February 15.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said the two men had conversed via a messaging app.

“The contents are graphic to say the least,” she said.

“You may feel in the circumstances, given the content of the conversation, it may be more appropriate to sentence them together.”

‘Facing a significant sentence’
Shaun Dryden, defending Richards, said: “They are linked but there are no joint charges.”

He suggested Richards could be sentenced alone straight away: “He is very anxious that the case proceeds.

“He wishes to know his fate.

“It’s clear that it is Mr Johnson who is instigating the conversations.

“For example Mr Johnson is seeking to meet the defendant for the purposes of sexual contact between the two of them.

“That is simply what the record shows.”

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, decided it would be safer to sentence the two men together.

He said of Richards: “He is facing a significant sentence.”

Both men will now be sentenced on February 15.

Richards, of Master Road, Thornaby, was bailed with a condition not to contact Johnson, of Marine Court, Saltburn.