Man jailed for sex offences - Hemel Hempstead

10/09/2014

Hemel Hempstead man Philip Stonebank has today, Tuesday, 09 September 2014, been jailed for three years after he downloaded indecent images of children onto his computer.

As Hertfordshire police investigated the offences, they also discovered he had committed acts of gross indecency with a young girl years earlier.

Stonebank, aged 63, of Peascroft Road in the town, appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty to three offences of indecency with a child, possessing indecent photos of a child, and four offences of making indecent photos of a child.  He also admitted a further charge of possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Judge Steven Gullick, hearing the case, was told how on 11 July last year police officers, suspecting Stonebank might be involved with indecent images, went to his home.  There he confirmed he had indecent, moving and still images of of young girls.

He admitted he had become hooked on child porn images, which he said he had been downloading onto his computer on an almost daily basis.  He claimed to officers he was not a paedophile and said he thought it was safe to watch the material on his computer and admitted it had excited him.

Stonebank said the youngest girl he had seen was around three years old.

The court then heard as police investigated the offences, they were made aware of a young girl who had been a victim of Stonebank's depravity.  They were able to speak to her and discovered that he had committed indecent acts in front of her years before.

Judge Gullick jailed Stonebank for three years and made him the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), which will last for the next 10 years.  He was also told his name would go on the Sex Offenders' Register for an indefinite period.

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