Whitby paedophile jailed for nearly two years after breaching court order

A prolific paedophile has been jailed for nearly two years for deleting indecent images of children from his laptop in breach of a court order designed to protect youngsters.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 9:48 am
Updated Friday, 3rd September 2021, 9:50 am

Simon Richard Abbott, 34, was under a strict court injunction after a previous conviction for 27 sexual offences including downloading and distributing thousands of indecent images of minors and inciting a young boy to engage in sexual activity in 2015.

Following his release from prison, police monitoring officers visited Abbott’s home in Whitby on July 14 this year when they seized an Asus laptop, York Crown Court heard.

Abbott confessed to officers that they would find illegal images on the computer, said prosecutor Victoria Hajba-Ward.

Simon Richard Abbott

“He made admissions that he had deleted things from the device,” she added.

“When asked why (he had possessed and deleted the alleged new images), he said he couldn’t help himself,” said the barrister.

Abbott was said to have deleted his internet history between January and July 2020.

The device was currently being analysed by police forensic officers for evidence of further offences, but this would “take months”.

He was arrested and charged with breaching a lifetime sexual-harm prevention order.

He admitted the offence and appeared for sentence on Wednesday.

Ms Hajba-Ward said Abbott had been prohibited from deleting images from his devices as part of the court order that was imposed in January 2015 when he was jailed for the previous sexual offences, including the possession of 30,000 indecent images of children and extreme pornography - 23,000 of which were described as “Level 1” in seriousness.

That conviction included 21 counts of possessing, making or distributing indecent images and four counts of inciting a 14-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity between 2007 and 2013, when Abbott had shared indecent images with others from a Russian website.

After being arrested for those offences, Abbott was released on bail whereupon he downloaded thousands of indecent images of children in the space of a week and uploaded them onto Instagram.

Ms Hajba-Ward said that Abbott, of Iburndale Lane, Sleights, presented a “very high risk of causing serious harm” to children.

He had breached the court order before, including once in August 2018 when he was recalled to prison but not charged.

He was released in January last year but brought in for questioning again following another breach for which he received a police caution.

David Camidge, mitigating, said Abbott’s “difficulties” with illegal pornography were “fairly unprecedented”.

His probation report made for “bleak” reading.

He said the investigation into further alleged offending would be “somewhat protracted”.

Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, told Abbott: “You are addicted to paedophile images and you can’t stop looking at them.

“You have admitted that you have images of that matter on the device that is currently being (investigated) by police.”

The judge said he was not prepared to wait for the outcome of that investigation and would sentence Abbott immediately for the breach because “not much can be done with you”.

Abbott was jailed for 22 months and the judge ordered that the sexual-harm prevention order should remain in place.

He said that depending on the outcome of the wider investigation, Abbott could expect to receive a consecutive jail sentence should he be charged with those matters.