February 2019

Hatfield paedophile jailed for child sexual abuse images and sexually exploiting underage girls

A 58-year-old sexual predator from Hatfield was jailed for four years and eight months after talking about kidnapping a child.

Phillip Smith, of Talbot Road, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, February 8 after pleading guilty to nine paedophilia charges.

He was charged with two counts of taking an indecent image of a child and three counts of making indecent images of children, including 31 category A images and 13 category A videos, 43 category B images and five category B videos, and 50 category C images and one category C video.

Smith was also charged with three counts of attempting to sexually exploit a child under 18 via an online chat.

All the offences took place in 2017, and Smith was arrested at his home on September 6 that year.

Rebecca Bax, prosecuting, said: “He had sent pictures of his penis and spoken to recipients in a sexual manner when he was aware of their age.

“He talked about kidnapping a girl and sexual interaction that would take place during the kidnap. She informed him that she was 13 years old. He replied: ‘so young, so sweet and innocent’.”

Smith also shared an image he had taken of a young child and wrote sexual messages about what he wanted to do to her.

He used an online chat programme which allowed users to remain anonymous, and his browsing history showed he had accessed paedophilia and rape-related websites.

Judge Patrick Fields said: “The victims of these offences are far-reaching and incredibly vulnerable. These are not victimless crimes.

“You had some relief that justice had caught up with you when police officers came to your home.”

Smith was sentenced to 56 months in prison.