Paedophile who worked in Harrogate given jail time after being caught with more than a hundred indecent images
A paedophile who downloaded sickening images of young children has been jailed for nearly two years.
Simon Halliday - who has a track record for such behaviour - was already under a strict court order to curb his internet use when he was caught with the vile images at his home.
The 46-year-old, who downloaded photos said to have been sent by other paedophiles on an internet chat site, later deleted some of the images in contravention of the court order imposed in 2012 after Halliday was convicted of similar offences, York Crown Court heard.
The married father was arrested in January this year at his workplace in Harrogate and police later seized his Huawei mobile phone from his home in Malton.
They found 73 indecent images of children on the phone, including eight photos rated Class A – the worst kind of such material.
Police also found 109 images on the phone that were said to be “borderline” and included teenagers “in various stages of undress”, although they did not form part of the charges that would be brought against Halliday, said prosecutor Ashleigh Metcalfe.
They also found a “large” number of deleted video files, but these too were not part of the ultimate charges.
Halliday was taken in for questioning and admitted deleting images but denied going onto the “dark web” to look for indecent material.
“He said he went onto a (named) online chat forum where he could fantasise with other like-minded individuals,” said Ms Metclafe.
He said “younger girls” were his fantasy and that he had “watched some videos”.
Halliday, of Sledgate, Rillington, admitted three counts of making indecent photos of children and breaching a sexual-harm prevention order which prohibited him from deleting his internet history and using any internet-enabled device without informing police. All the images featured girls between the ages of six and nine.
He appeared at York Crown Court via video link last Friday after being remanded in Hull Prison since his arrest in January.
Ms Metcalfe said Halliday had four previous convictions for downloading and distributing indecent images of children dating back to 2004, when he was jailed for nine months for 23 separate offences.
In 2013 and 2015, he breached protection and notification orders stemming from that sentence and in 2016 he was jailed for two years after again being convicted of downloading and distributing indecent images.
His latest offences were in breach of a separate order made in 2012 by Hull magistrates. It had been due to last 10 years and designed to prevent Halliday deleting any internet images sent or received by him.
Halliday, who set up a car-valeting business when he was last released from prison in 2017, was unrepresented in court.
He said he was “disappointed with myself”, adding: “Looking back on my record, it saddens me to see how I behaved.”
Judge Simon Hickey condemned Halliday for his latest collection of images.
Mr Hickey said that internet search terms used by Halliday showed he had deliberately sought out indecent images.
Jailing Halliday for 22 months, the judge said he had noted the defendant’s “history of disobedience (of court orders)” and the age and vulnerability of the children featured in the sordid photos.
Halliday will serve half of that sentence behind bars before being released on prison licence. He was also placed on the sex-offenders’ register for 10 years and made subject to a new sexual-harm prevention order of the same length.
The order has nine separate clauses including restrictions on Halliday’s internet use, a prohibition on him living or staying at any household with children under 16 years of age and another barring him from having any advertent contact with under-age children.
Detective Sergeant Lee Allenby, of North Yorkshire Police’s Online Abuse and Exploitation Team, said afterwards: “Those who obtain and distribute child-abuse material - sickening and perverted individuals such as Simon Halliday - directly contribute to the sexual exploitation of children. This is because the children involved are continually re-victimised.”
*To report suspected crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children, call North Yorkshire Police on 101.
Victims who prefer not to go direct to the police can contact North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) on 0330 223 0362. Alternatively, send an email to: [email protected], or go to www.bridgehousesarc.org
The Supporting Victims Unit can be reached at www.supportingvictims.org or by calling 01609 643100.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.