February 2021

Cumbrian sex offender used ‘secret’ phone to hunt for child victims

A prolific Cumbrian sex offender who spent days hunting for child victims online gave a nine-year-old boy detailed instructions about how to sexually interfere with his three-year-old sibling.

A Carlisle Crown Court judge who was told about 23-year-old Jonathon Fell’s latest sickening crimes jailed him for 45 months.

The court heard that the pervert – who has lived in Carlisle and Workington and subjected to close monitoring because of previous sex offences – was caught thanks to the efforts of police and Probation Service staff who became suspicious after learning that Fell had a secret phone.

A senior Cumbria police officer today said the case shows that sex offenders subject to community monitoring will be caught and brought to justice.

Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, said the offences were discovered in February last year after a Probation officer who was interviewing Fell in Workington noticed a mobile phone was vibrating in his pocket.

“At first, he denied having a phone,” said Mr Rogerson. “But it was then produced, he was confronted, and the phone was seized.”

Police who examined the phone found thousands of incriminating messages.

Fell was repeatedly visiting online chatrooms to search for children to groom.

He admitted four counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity; and four of trying to communicate sexually with a child.

In the most disturbing offence he instructed a nine-year-old to sexually interfere with a three-year-old.

He usually made sure the child was alone. When confronted, Fell denied wrongdoing but then told police: “I can’t stop myself.”

The defendant, who previously lived at Wastwater Avenue, Workington, most recently he has lived at Lowther Street, Carlisle. He will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.