June 2021

‘Dangerous’ pervert abused children and shared images online

A paedophile who abused two little girls and a boy distributed images of his illegal activity online.

Joshua Savage’s catalogue of offending came to light after he shared two images – of himself abusing a young victim – in an online chatroom used by people who have a sexual interest in children.

The site was being monitored by the police, who traced the 29-year-old via his internet IP address, leading to his arrest in June 2019, Leicester Crown Court was told.

Savage’s phone was seized and was found to contain a number of indecent images of children, along with the two images he distributed online, said Anwar Nashashibi, prosecuting.

While he was awaiting sentencing, officers discovered Savage had committed other child sex crimes, including offences against two previously unknown victims, who were under 10 years old, and downloading indecent images.

The defendant, formerly of Knossington, near Oakham, appeared in court via video link from the secure hospital where he is receiving mental health treatment.

Sentencing him, Judge Keith Raynor branded Savage “a dangerous offender” who presented “a significant risk to minors of serious harm”.

Savage was given a little-known and rarely used hybrid hospital order, with an eight-year custodial sentence.

The term will initially be served in psychiatric care, and if the offender’s condition improves he will be moved to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence, rather than be released into the community from hospital.

Judge Raynor said he accepted the view of three psychiatrists that Savage’s mental ill health, relating to a “diagnosis of childhood autism”, was linked to the commission of the offences, and that he was suitable for treatment.

However, he departed from the experts’ recommendation for a standalone hospital order, saying: “There’s a need for punishment in this case.”

The judge said Savage could expect to serve two thirds of the sentence before the authorities would begin to consider if he was suitable for release on licence with conditions.

The defendant was placed on an indefinite sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) and will have to enlist on a sex offender register for life.

As part of the hearing, personal impact statements were read out, with the victims’ parents describing the distress, suffering and sleepless nights caused by Savage’s offending, with the youngsters’ “childhood innocence” being stolen.

One mother said she felt “angry, disgusted and empty”.

The offences

Savage admitted the first set of offences that took place between June 1 and 24, 2019. They were:

  • Two counts of causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity – no penetration

  • Two counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child in category B

  • Two counts of distributing an indecent photograph of a child

  • Three counts of downloading indecent photographs of children relating to seven images in category A, five images in category B and seven images in category C

He also admitted further offences committed between January 2017 and June 2019. They were:

  • Five counts of sexual assault of a child under 13

  • Two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity

  • Two counts of taking indecent photographs of children relating to 186 images in category A and one image in category B

  • Two counts of downloading indecent photographs of children relating to 134 images in category B and 286 images in category C

  • Three counts of distributing indecent photographs of children relating to one image in category A, two images in category B and five images in category C

  • One count of taking an indecent photograph of a child relating to five images in category B