December 2015

Sex offender keeps freedom as a judge tells him: ‘You are on very, very thin ice’


A sex offender who flouted an order meant to protect the public has been told by a judge: “You are on very, very thin ice.”

Matthew Adams, 29, was convicted twice for having child abuse images and still struggles to come to terms with his past

He was on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely from his conviction in 2009 for having indecent images of children.

He was given a suspended jail term for downloading more illegal images in 2013.

He was given a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) banning unsupervised contact with under-16s, having internet-capable devices or accessing the internet except to find work at a Job Centre.

He was jailed in June last year for breaching the order by missing appointments.

Today he was in trouble for breaching the order by having a smartphone, found on his bed by police on April 9.

He said he had the phone for two days and had accessed legal adult pornography on it, said prosecutor Jenny Haigh.

Adams, of Myrtle Street, Middlesbrough, admitted two breaches of the SOPO and possession of the Class B drugs cannabis and amphetamine, also found in his home.

He had 60 offences on his record.

The judge, Recorder Ewan Duff, remarked that the order’s conditions were “extraordinarily wide”.

He commented: “Can you still buy phones that can’t access the internet?”

But he said the SOPO still stood and it was up to Adams to apply to change it.

He added it was “sinister” that Adams hid a phone from police.

Sentencing, he told Adams: “Had you accessed any child pornography, you would have been going straight to prison, and straight to prison for a substantial period of time.

“It’s sad to report that you struggle to understand and comprehend and come to terms with what you did originally.”

He gave Adams a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years with rehabilitation activity and the sex offenders’ treatment programme.

He said the programme would give Adams an opportunity to understand his past behaviour.

He added: “You must understand that you are on very, very thin ice.

“You’re going to have to get to grips with your earlier offending and your interest in children and deal with it.

“If you don’t, you’ll be going to prison for a long time.”

Adams was given a 12-month conditional discharge for the drugs offence.

April 2013


A MAN from Cumbria who had broken a court order by searching for child abuse images was caught out when a message advertising “pre teen nude models” popped up on his computer while two police officers were looking at it, a court heard today.

The message was proof that 26-year-old Matthew Adams had been using the search engine on his computer to find the sort of child pornography that had landed him in court three years previously, prosecuting counsel David Polglase said.

In December 2009 Adams, of Back of the Fell Road, Lindale, near Grange-over-Sands, was given a three-year community order after being convicted of 24 charges of downloading indecent photographs.

At the same time, Carlisle Crown Court was told, a Sexual Offences Prevention Order was imposed, banning him from using any computer unless it was fitted with police-approved software blocking access to child porn websites.

But in December last year, Mr Polglase said, Adams traded in his old laptop for a better second-hand computer, which did not have the safeguarding software installed on it.

And although he called the police to tell them what he had done, in the fortnight before they were able to install the software on his new computer, he gave into temptation and used it to search for more indecent pictures of children.

Mr Polglase told the court it was when the police were at Adams’ house to install the monitoring software that the tell-tale message popped up on the screen in front of them.

Adams told them “That shouldn’t be there”, suggesting that the message was the result of the behaviour of the computer’s previous owner.

But the police soon found that in the time since he had bought his new equipment he had made 578 different searches – using such terms as “Sexy nude five-year-old girls”, “Seven-year-old rape video” and “Illegal baby paedo page” – to look for pornography, Mr Polglase said.

Adams pleaded guilty to two charges of breaking the terms of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order – first by owning a computer without the monitoring software, and then by using it to access the internet.

He also admitted downloading 138 indecent images of children – 37 of them judged to be of the second most serious category.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and put under the supervision of probation officers for two years.

He was also banned from having unsupervised contact with children and from using any computer other than those he might use at a Job Centre while looking for work.

The judge, Recorder Howard Bentham QC, said this was the best way of protecting the public from “the behaviour of a man whose predilections are so offensive to society.”

December 2009


A man who was beaten up by two vigilantes who heard that child porn had been discovered on his computer has been spared a prison sentence.

Matthew William Adams, 22 – who was injured when two men, armed with a baseball bat, beat him up at his home in Semple Road, Harraby, Carlisle, in August – was instead put under probation supervision at the city’s crown court and ordered to attend a programme to confront his sexual behaviour. 

Adams was also banned indefinitely from working with children and banned from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 16. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for five years.

He had pleaded guilty to possessing 86 internet videos of children being sexually abused, most at the lower end of the scale of seriousness although one was classed as category five (the worst) and 17 were category four. 

During the hearing no mention was made of the way Adams had been beaten and pushed through a glass door by two balaclava-clad attackers

But prosecuting counsel Richard Archer did tell the court that since his arrest Adams had spent 128 days in custody on remand “for his own safety”. 

Mr Archer said Adams’ offences came to light after a man, who bought a computer from him, spotted that he had stored the pornographic videos on it.

In mitigation, defence barrister Keith Thomas said that Adams was a man with problems.

Judg Paul Batty QC described the images on Adams’ computer as “truly revolting.”