September 2018

EE shop staff find disturbing images on mobile phone brought in for repair

Staff at a mobile phone shop alerted police after finding disturbing images of child pornography on a man’s phone.

He went there for help in getting malware removed after he received demands for cash but ended up in even worse trouble, a court heard.

He claimed he was originally just looking for nudism pictures but got diverted to another family website.

Brian Armitage, 53, of Combe Street, Cleethorpes, admitted two offences of making indecent images of children and others of possessing a prohibited images of children and possessing an extreme image involving a dog.

Jessica Lister, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Armitage took his mobile phone to a shop on July 11 last year for help with removing “ransomware” where money was being demanded.

A member of staff at the EE shop in Freshney Place, Grimsby, saw images of concern and alerted her manager, who saw browsing history on the phone relating to indecent images.
The police were called in and staff asked to keep the phone to wipe it. The police were handed the phone.

A total of 26 images were found on computer equipment and he had searched online for “child abuse”.

He claimed: “All this is not intentional. I am not a paedophile. I just accidentally, curiously looked at stuff I should not have done.”

Armitage claimed he had been on a nudism website and this led him to a family website where he came across computer-generated images.