Jailed: Hitchin paedophile who continued hunting images of children
PUBLISHED: 17:05 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:13 21 September 2018
A convicted paedophile living in Hitchin who used a tablet to look for pictures of girls under the age of 18, and failed to tell police of his new address, has today been jailed.
Guy Lawrence, of Dacre Road in Hitchin, was jailed for 12 months when he appeaed before Judge Michael Kay at St Albans Crown Court today.
Lawrence had earlier pleaded guilty to possessing the tablet device in breach of a sexual harm prevention order, and breaching the Sexual Offences Act by not informing police he had moved home.
At a hearing last month, prosecutor Kevin West told the court of searches on the 53-year-old paedophile’s tablet for pictures of “clothed and unclothed girls between the ages of 10 and 18”.
Lawrence, formerly of Stevenage, was jailed for 15 months in April 2014 after he admitted possession of 369 indecent images of children, as well as extreme pornography portraying sexual acts with animals.
While on bail after pleading guilty in January that year, Lawrence – who already had previous convictions for sex offences – went missing.
A police helicopter was deployed over Stevenage in March 2014 while officers looked for him. Lawrence was later convicted of possessing a knife during this time.
Lawrence was arrested again this year over these fresh offences. On August 1 he pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order by possessing a tablet device capable of transmitting data and using the internet, without police-approved risk-management software.
He also pleaded guilty to breaching the Sexual Offences Act by failing to notify police of his change of address.
After today’s sentencing, an NSPCC spokesman told the Comet: “Viewing indecent images is child abuse, and by continuing to hunt for these images Lawrence has fuelled a vile trade that thrives on the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
“A child abuse image offence is recorded every 23 minutes by police in the UK, but the war against this sickening industry cannot be left to police alone.
“Offenders are using social networks to manipulate children into sending naked images, so regulation is needed now to force companies to tackle grooming and cut off the supply of these images at source.”
Children who are being pressured to send images of themselves online can contact Childline for help on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk.