Holiday Inn pervert breached sex offenders prevention order
A cynical child sex offender housed in a Derby hotel refused to give police access to a mobile phone in case they found illegal abuse images on it.
Derby Crown Court heard how Craig Barton told officers he would “rather take the breach” than allow them his PIN number so they could find out what was on the device.
At the time they had swooped on the Derby hotel where the 38-year-old was housed after being released from prison just four months before for more child sex offences.
Jailing him for three years, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “Police attended your accommodation because an email address registered to you had been used to access child pornography.
“You had a phone capable of accessing the internet and when the police asked you for the PIN number you made what, in my judgement, was a cynical decision to balance what the likely sentence would be if the police examined your phone.
“In your own words ‘I would rather take the breach’ and you took a calculated view not to disclose to the police what was on that phone.”
Katrina Wilson, prosecuting, outlined the defendant’s past offending in relation to downloading child abuse images.
She said he was jailed for two years in February 2015 at Leicester Crown Court for 10 offences of making indecent images of children.
Miss Wilson said as part of that he was handed a sexual offences prevention order – later a sexual harm prevention order – for an indefinite period.
She said after being released from the first sentence he twice breached that order and was jailed for a year in 2016.
Miss Wilson said he received another 16 months in May 2017 for more child abuse image offences which was also later breached.
Then, in June 2019 Barton was jailed at Aylesbury Crown Court for more indecent child images offences.
Miss Wilson said: “After being released from that sentenced he was first sent to a hostel in the Thames Valley area and then placed at a Holiday Inn in Derby.
“On February 9, 2021, police went there after an email address registered to the defendant was linked to downloading child sexual abuse images
“He was arrested and two mobile phones were seized, one of which was capable of accessing the internet which was a breach of his order as he was supposed to tell the police he had it.
“When he was asked what the PIN number was he refused saying to them ‘I would rather take the breach’.
“Police are still making efforts to access the phone but there is not much optimism they will be able to without the PIN number.”
Barton pleaded guilty to breaching the terms of his sexual harm prevention order.