July 2020

‘Depraved’ man kept over a hundred child abuse images on mobile phone

A “depraved” man had more than 100 vile indecent images of children on a mobile phone which was seized by police.

Police went unannounced to Matthew Ratcliffe’s home and he gave them a mobile which was discovered to contain indecent images and videos.

Derby Crown Court heard he told officers he got sexual gratification by looking at the images.

The hearing revealed the 43-year-old had three convictions for 37 offences, which included similar offences.

He was deemed “high risk” and Judge Robert Egbuna, who presided over the case, handed Ratcliffe an extended prison sentence for his recent offences.

Judge Egbuna said: “In September, officers carried out an unannounced visit and you produced a new mobile which was a breach of your sexual harm prevention order.

“You made a conscious decision to conceal this phone and you said you bought it to watch music videos. You had searched for Japan, three-year-old and five-year-old.

“There was pain and distress suffered in the videos you were watching. It was depraved.

“A pre-sentence report was prepared by a an experienced officer and refers to the fact you attempted to manipulate professionals working with you, minimising the extent you think about your offending.

“The report concluded you present a very high risk of causing serious harm to pre-pubescent female children under the age of ten.

“You do present a risk. It is just to impose an extended sentence to protect the public in future.”

The court heard the indecent images counts dated between August 11, 2018 and September 16, 2018.

Philip Plant, prosecuting, said: “The phone was examined, police became concerned by the search terms being used. They found Japan, three-year-old and five-year-old.

“As a result the device was seized and a search of the device sim card confirmed to contain images.”

Mr Plant said there were 19 images from category A, which included eight videos, the most serious category.

Police also found four category B videos and 110 category C images. Mr Plant then outlined examples of the type of subjects depicted within the images and videos.

He also outlined how two reports, one from the probation service, had been prepared and both concluded Ratcliife was “high risk”.

Ratcliffe, of Hall Street, Derby, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children.

He was handed an extended prison sentence which included four-and-a-half years in custody, followed by a four-and-a-half-year extended licence period.