May 2021

Paedophile teenager tried to ‘cover his tracks’ but failed to hide his sick obsession

A paedophile tried to “cover his tracks” after downloading child rape photos at his parents’ home.

Jordan Mitchell, then 19, used specialist computer software in an attempt to keep his sick obsession a secret.

He also deleted the disturbing pictures of toddlers and infants being sexually abused after he had viewed them.

But he failed to hide his identity completely and when police raided his home they found 427 indecent images.

Liverpool Crown Court heard police received intelligence that an IP address traced to Mitchell’s home was being used to download indecent images.

Derek Jones, prosecuting, said as a result officers raided Mitchell’s family’s address in Darmonds Green Avenue, Anfield on June 24 last year.

Mr Jones said: “He was in with his parents and the defendant indicated to the police that he knew why they were there.”

Officers seized an iPhone and a desktop computer from his bedroom, with the majority of the illegal files being recovered from his mobile.

Mr Jones said: “The defendant was using what he now confirms in his interview was Tor browser to cover his tracks – a VPN.

“He was clearly accessing indecent images on websites, looking at the images and deleting them.”

Tor browser software provides access to the ‘Dark Web’ and can also be used to hide online or other computer activity.

Mr Jones said no record of online searches he had made were present on the devices.

However, he said it could be seen that the then teenager had visited websites with names referring to “Lolita” and “jail bait”.

He had 36 Category A – the most serious category showing child rape – 140 Category B and 251 Category C indecent images of children.

Mr Jones said the photos showed children “some as young as between two and four, five to six, six to seven”.

The prosecutor said: “He was interviewed by the police and full admissions were made by him to downloading the images.

“He accepted that he used Tor browser to try and cover his tracks when he was looking at these websites.”

Mr Jones said sentencing guidelines suggested a starting point of 12 months’ custody, with a sentencing range of 26 weeks to three years in custody, for the Category A files.

Mitchell, now 20 admitted four counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Judge Anil Murray said the young age of the children pictured was an aggravating feature of the case

The judge said as he was considered to be “a prospect for rehabilitation” and had no history of failing to comply with court orders, he could suspend his eight-month prison sentence for two years.

He ordered Mitchell to carry out the Horizon programme and a 60-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Mitchell must also sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

Judge Murray reserved any breaches of the orders to himself and said if he saw Mitchell again, he would likely send him to jail.