September 2019

‘Porn addict’ crunched phone with his teeth to try stop police seeing child abuse images

A pervert tried to bite his own phone in half to stop police seeing the sickening images of child abuse he had downloaded.

Self-confessed “porn addict” Shaun Fearon, 36, scribbled down fantasies referring to “paedos” and “jailbait”, Teesside Crown Court heard.

He falsely claimed he had only one phone when officers came to see him at his then home on Bridge Street West, central Middlesbrough.

When they spotted another phone on his bed, he covered it with a duvet and said: “You’re not having that one.”

He refused to hand it over and struggled as the officers tried to grab the handset on March 19.

“He put it into his mouth and tried to bite it in half, trying to destroy it,” said prosecutor Jenny Haigh.

The phone, which Fearon had stolen from a 79-year-old woman the previous month, was seized and examined.

In a matter of weeks, he had downloaded 240 images of child abuse on to the phone, including 70 at the worst level.

The disturbing images were mostly of children under 10, some depicting rape of three and four-year-olds.

Fearon also had extreme pornographic images, one showing an “act which threatened a person’s life” with a woman being suffocated, another involving a woman and an animal.

He denied he was sexually attracted to children in police interview.

He said “I’m just a porn addict and a drug addict”, adding that he liked to pleasure himself sexually.

He added he would “go weird and do weird **** like that” when he was “off his face on drugs”.

Cleveland Police had wanted to speak to Fearon for almost two years, but he was not tracked down until the visit in March this year.

He first became a suspect in July 2017 when officers learned child abuse images had been uploaded to the internet, traced to another Middlesbrough home linked to Fearon.

John Nixon, defending, said Fearon was eventually found living no more than 50 yards from the town police station.

He was also serving a community order and complying with the Probation Service.

Judge Deborah Sherwin remarked: “I can’t think that the police could be looking for him very hard.”

Fearon put his crimes down to his drug problem, the court was told.

Mr Nixon said: “Shaun Fearon had an unenviable record, largely revolving around drugs. He’s struggled with that over the years.

“He has from time to time managed to beat the demons.

“But he relapsed this year and, as he says in the pre-sentence report, by and large these offences have related to his drugs misuse.

Fearon, formerly of Borough Road, central Middlesbrough, admitted three charges of making indecent photographs of children, two of possessing extreme pornography and one of theft.

He had previous convictions for burglary, assaults, wounding, theft, have a blade and benefit fraud, but none for sexual offences.

Judge Sherwin jailed Fearon for a year.

She gave him a sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register, each for 10 years.