March 2021

Hetton-le-Hole pervert faces jail for sick child abuse stash of almost 22,000 images

A paedophile could be jailed for three years after being caught with a sickening stash of almost 22,000 child abuse images.

Steven Humphrey, 60, was found with the grotesque images when police raided his then home in Rectory Road, Hetton-le-Hole.

They showed children aged from nine to 14 – and his devices revealed proof of searches having been carried out, a court heard.

Humphrey, now of no fixed abode but living in a central Newcastle hotel, had seven category A images among his vile collection – the worst level of offence.

There were also 161 category B still and moving images and a whopping 21,798 category C still and moving, the least extreme type.

Prosecutor Paul Doney told magistrates in South Tyneside possession of A category images carried a potential three-year jail term.

He added: “Police have attended his home in Rectory Road in Houghton-le-Spring. That was the address of the defendant and his partner.

“There they have recovered seven devices. There were a large number of unmarked which are uncategorised.

“The sentencing guidelines for category C is a starting point of 12 month, with a range up to three years.

“The images are of children between nine and 14. There is evidence of searching for child abuse images.”

There was no representation from Humphrey’s solicitor, Neil Bennett.

Humphrey pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of a child

He was told he must report to his nearest police station in Newcastle within three days to inform officers of his offences – and he has been placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Magistrates sent Humphrey to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, April 12.

They ordered a report into his offending be compiled by the Probation Service, to assist with sentencing.