April 2020

Pervert had hundreds of child abuse images on secret phone just weeks after being let out of prison

A pervert was caught with a secret phone in his pocket containing hundreds of child abuse images just weeks after being released from prison for similar offending.

After being jailed for indecent images offences in 2018, Shaun Westgarth was subject to a sexual harm prevention order and was supposed to disclose to police any devices he had that were capable of accessing the internet.

But when officers went to the Newcastle bail hostel where he was staying, they found the 38-year-old had a Samsung Galaxy in his pocket which he had not told them about.

Prosecutor Alec Burns told Newcastle Crown Court: “The phone was analysed and on the phone were found to be still images of children.

“He deliberately hid this phone, he mentioned one but not this one.”

The court heard a total of 598 images of children being abused were found on the phone, with 125 being in the most serious category of their type.

Mr Burns added: “The majority of the children were aged between seven and ten but the full range covered ages between two and 14.”

Westgarth pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent photographs of children and breach of a sexual harm prevention order.

Judge Robert Spragg jailed Westgarth for 28 months and said he must sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

The judge told him: “You clearly remain a high risk of committing offences of this type in future.”

As well as the conviction in 2018, Westgarth was also jailed in 2016 for 16 months for similar offending.