May 2021

Paedophile found with over 25,000 vile abuse images after girlfriend saw pictures on his phone

A paedophile was found with a hoard of over 25,000 sickening abuse images after his girlfriend saw “explicit content” on his mobile phone.

Francis Michael Black of Cameron Road, Hartlepool was arrested after his girlfriend at the time saw concerning images when using his phone.

Black, who had previous convictions for possessing indecent images, was then found to have thousands of child abuse images stored on his computer.

The 61-year-old appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday to be sentenced for possessing indecent images.

Emma Hughes, prosecuting, said Black’s crimes came to light on April 20, last year, when his then-girlfriend was using his mobile.

“Police received a phone call from the defendant’s girlfriend saying they were at home when she came across explicit content”, she said.

“Aware of the defendant’s previous convictions she alerted the police.”

Black was soon arrested and his electronic devices were seized and his home searched.

Ms Hughes said that a total of 58 category A images were found, alongside 68 category B and a massive 25,067 in category C.

Many of the images showed children in “pain or distress” and some depicted were as young a five-years-old, the court heard.

The court was told that Black had three previous convictions for 23 offences.

One relevant conviction dated back to 2013 when he was given a four year community order for possessing indecent images.

He was put on the sex offender register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, both for five years.

They had expired by the time he committed the April offences.

Last year, he’d received an 18 month community order for battery, and so was in breach of that order.