November 2011

Jailed: Beverley man who sent child 400 text messages after giving him mobile phone

A MAN who bombarded a child with more than 400 text messages and indecent images has been jailed.

Anthony John Holland, 46, targeted the boy by giving him a phone as a gift.

Within weeks, he had sent him more than 400 text messages and indecent images, but the boy handed his phone to a teacher.

Holland was arrested within hours and detectives discovered hours of footage showing children being abused on his home computer.

They discovered 22 films, with 18 showing the worst levels of indecency.

Holland, of Ladygate, Beverley, was jailed for two years.

Judge Michael Mettyear, the Honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding, said: “This was a vulnerable child you had pestered and provided with this disgusting material. You knew he was vulnerable and you took advantage of that situation.”

At Hull Crown Court, Holland pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images and films of children and causing a child to watch a sexual act.

When arrested, Holland, who has previous convictions for theft and dishonesty, denied the offence and told police he had sent his victim the images as a “joke”.

His barrister Anil Murray said: “He has not offended for nine years and has no previous convictions for sexual offending. He has taken on board what has been said and accepts he might have a problem. He is willing to accept help.”

Holland was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for seven years.

Judge Mettyear said Holland appeared to have developed “some sort of infatuation” for the victim.

“You gave him a mobile phone and you bombarded him with text messages,” he said.

“Things then turned sinister. Fortunately, he was disgusted by what you sent him and reported your conduct, thereby triggering a speedy police response and investigation.

“Your laptop was seized and a folder was found with 22 movie clips. These movies had a running time of about five hours.

“The courts take a serious view of this sort of offending. It takes the view that people who watch this sort of material encourage others to make them and children to be abused.”