Mark Steel – Accrington

May 2019

Convicted sex offender who ‘deliberately’ broke court order spared jail

A pervert who ‘deliberately’ breached a court order by using prohibited mobile phone apps and computer software has avoided jail.

Mark Stephen Steel, from Accrington, was given a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) by Burnley Crown Court in November 2017 after downloading more than 2,200 indecent images of children, a court heard.

They included 336 category A indecent photographs of children – the most serious category – along with making 165 category B and 1,717 category C photographs.

He was also caught distributing indecent images of children, in possession of a prohibited photograph of a child and in possession of 141 extreme pornographic images.

Steel pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching a SHPO.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker told Burnley Crown Court how Steel, 59, was arrested by police on October 1 last year after ‘deliberately breaching’ the terms of his SHPO.

The court heard how between June and October 2018 the defendant used the Avira Phantom virtual private network application, the Antox peer to peer messaging and file sharing service and also failed to provide login credentials to a Mega cloud storage service.

Steel, who has seven convictions for 18 offences, had only recently been released on licence from a prison sentence for the indecent images.

Steel pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching the SHPO and was sentenced to a three-year community order with a SOTP and 150 hours unpaid work.

Judge Sara Dodd said: “Your case has caused me a great deal of concern. You had not been out of custody for very long when you committed the offences.”

May 2019

Sex offender had ‘SD Maid’ app on his phone to wipe history

A convicted sex offender failed to register with police within three days of being released from custody.

Blackburn magistrates heard when police went to his home to see why they discovered an internet history cleaning application had been installed on his phone which was in breach of a sexual harm prevention order.

Mark Stephen Steel, 59, of Edleston Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order and failing to comply with sex offender registration requirements. He was jailed for 17 weeks.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said when Steel failed to register following his release from custody an officer went to his address. He saw a smart phone on charge and when he examined the phone saw an application called “SD Maid.”

“That application is designed to remove or clean internet history which he is prohibited from doing by the sexual harm prevention order,” said Mr Robinson.

November 2017

Accrington man who made indecent images of a child is jailed

A pervert who took indecent images of a child has been jailed.

Mark Stephen Steel, 58, was sentenced to 14 months in prison when he appeared before Judge Jonathan Gibson at Barrow-in-Furness Crown Court.

The sentence was welcomed by the children’s charity the NSPCC which described Steel’s offending as ‘abhorrent and dangerous’.

At an earlier hearing at Burnley Crown Court Judge Gibson was told how 58-year-old Steel took 15 indecent images of the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, between January 2012 and March 2016.

The court heard that when police seized electronic devices belong to Steel they found extreme pornographic images featuring a person performing a sexual act with a dog.

Officers also found that Steel, of Edleston Street, Accrington, had made 336 Category A indecent photographs of children, which feature the most serious examples of child sexual abuse. He had also made 165 Category B indecent photographs of children, and 1,717 Category C indecent photographs of children.

Experts found that on February 12, 2016, Steel had distributed two Category A images of children, one Category B image and 12 Category C images of children .

On February 17, 2016, Steel had distributed three Category A images of children, one Category B imaged and nine Category C images of children.

Steel was also found to be in possession of a prohibited image of a child.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, one of taking indecent photographs of a child, one of possessing a prohibited image of a child, one of possessing extreme pornographic images and six of distributing indecent photographs of children.

Steel was jailed for 14 months and made subject of a 10-year-sexual harm prevention order. A decision will also be made on whether he must sign the sex offender’s register.

October 2017

Accrington man who took indecent photographs of a child

A MAN who took indecent images of children has been warned he faces a prison sentence.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Mark Stephen Steel, 58, took 15 indecent images of the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, between January 2012 and March 2016.

The court heard that when police seized electronic devices belong to Steel they found an extreme pornographic images featuring a person performing a sexual act with a dog.

Officers also found that Steel, of Edleston Street, Accrington, had made 336 Category A indecent photographs of a child, feature the most serious examples of child sexual abuse, 165 Category B indecent photographs, and 1,717 Category C indecent photographs.

Experts found that on February 12, 2016, Steel had distributed two Category A images of a child, one Category B imaged and 12 Category C images.

On February 17, 2016, Steel had distributed three Category A images of a child, one Category B imaged and nine Category C images.

Steel was also found to be in possession of a prohibited image of a child.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, one of taking indecent photographs of a child, one of possessing a prohibited image of a child, one of possessing extreme pornographic images and six of distributing indecent photographs of children.

Judge Gibson said: “You have pleaded guilty to serious offences. That is self evident from the very nature of the charges. I will sentence you at Preston Crown Court on November 10. I will grant you bail in the interim.

“Given the nature of the offences and the sentencing guidelines an immediate custodial sentence is highly likely.

“Both of the reports can help you. With the length of sentence if nothing else.”

Steel was made subject of an interim notification requirement and told not to have any unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16.

 

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