A CONVICTED paedophile has been jailed after being found with 7,000 pictures of child abuse – despite being on a sex offender treatment programme.
Nicholas Stone was found with more than 7,000 indecent images after officers raided his Blackpool home following a tip-off.
The 62-year-old, of Cavendish Road, Bispham, was caught after he gave his mobile phone to a boy in the town. The boy’s mother contacted police after spotting two indecent images of boys on it.
In total, Stone pleaded guilty to 25 charges of possessing or making indecent images of children between October 2008 and January 2010 when he appeared before a judge at Preston Crown Court.
And, while he was committing his latest offences, the court heard Stone had been on a community rehabilitation order – which included a sex offenders treatment programme – for an offence of meeting a child following sexual grooming.
Hilary Banks, prosecuting, said the offences came to light after two indecent pictures were spotted on Stone’s mobile phone.
When police searched his home they discovered more than 7,000 images of child abuse on his laptop.
They also uncovered two mobile phones, one of which had on it one picture which was classed as level five – the most serious type of image in the police classification.
Sarah Booth, defending, told the court a pre-sentence report prepared by the probation service painted Stone as someone who was neither willing or able to accept the offences were illegal in nature.
She said it was “a great source of personal shame” for Stone he had an attraction to young boys, but said he had found the treatment programme helpful in rehabilitating him.
Miss Booth added: “There is a mental shift he needs to make between understanding his having perhaps not committed any direct sexual offences against children.
“He feels he has done nothing wrong.
“That doesn’t mean he doesn’t accept possessing the images.
“He is slowly making that mental shift. The sex offender treatment programme needs to be continual.
“It is not something he can just tick a box with and all will be well.
“It is something which he needs continual assistance with.”
Stone was sentenced to 22 months in prison, banned from working with children and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
He was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which bans him from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.