Pervert caught with child abuse images claimed account was hacked

A pervert who tried to claim his account had been hacked and indecent images of children planted has been handed a suspended sentence.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:30 pm

Luke Steel from South Elmsall was caught with 160 images, ranging from Category A - the most serious - to Category C, with children being sexually abused from the age of six-months-old to 10-years-old.

Prosecutor Jessica Randell told Leeds Crown Court that in February 2019 cyber officers were alerted to the images being uploaded to the messaging app, Kik, at an IP address in the district.

Officers executed a warrant 11 months later on January 6, 2020 and seized electronic devices from 24-year-old Steel.

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Online crime (library pic)

They found 55 Category A images, 62 Category B and 43 Category C images on a mobile phone.

They also found two extreme pornographic images involving sex acts with animals.

After being interviewed by police he denied the offences and suggested he had been hacked.

Steel, of Harrow Street, eventually admitted three charge of making indecent images and possessing the extreme images.

Mitigating, Jemima Stephenson said Steel had worked at a bakery in Doncaster but after receiving a head injury at work, he had been unable to work and developed a stutter.

She said he became reclusive, and spent more time on the internet.

She added: "He has let himself down and his family down, he feels a lot of remorse.

"He has never been in trouble before, it is very much out-of-character behaviour for him."

Judge Neil Clark handed him six-month jail term, suspended for two years and gave him a seven-year sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) to limit and monitor his internet use.

He said: "You have never troubled the courts or the police in the past, but these are serious offences.

"You were frank ultimately, if not initially."