December 2022

Paedophile stopped in Halifax street by police found to have sick child abuse WhatsApp chats

September 2016

Convicted paedophile jailed after advances in technology


Police discovered a Fartown man had distributed indecent images of children after technological advances finally allowed them to gain access to his phone.

Ricky Lee Cavanagh, 32, was arrested in June 2014 and later sentenced to nine months in prison after he breached a Sexual Offences Prevention Order imposed in 2010 at Chelmsford Crown Court for possessing indecent images.

At the time a phone was seized during the search of his then home in Huddersfield. It was password protected and he refused to give the information claiming the phone was not his.

Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the police could not unlock it but recently – because of technological advances – they had been able to gain access and discovered indecent images, distribution of them to others and that he had been in contact with two children.

They were not new offences but were not known about in 2014. Cavanagh was found to have 105 images at Category A, the most serious, 63 at category B and 53 at Category C. He was also found to have 31 prohibited images in the form of graphic pen and ink drawings of children being abused.

Cavanagh was also found to have distributed 60 images of Category A to like minded individuals including one showing a two year old being raped by adults. He has also distributed 30 images at Category B and 15 at Category C.

Chat messages were found of his contact with a 12 year old boy indicating “persistent grooming” in which he pestered the vulnerable boy to meet him telling the youngster he found him gorgeous.

He was also in touch with a 13-year-old girl of Asian origin believed to be abroad trying to get her to send him indecent photos and urging her to commit sexual offences with her younger brother.

Mr Woolfall said when the old offences were discovered it was also found that Cavanagh had committed a more recent breach of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order when he went to a wedding celebration in the summer of last year in a local community centre in Huddersfield and spent time in the area set aside for children.

Robert Stevenson, representing Cavanagh, said he accepted he could get no credit for the delay in the offences being dealt with since he had not supplied the password but he had admitted responsibility for what was found on the phone at the earliest opportunity and had already served nine months from the 2014 arrest.

Cavanagh, of Cawthorne Avenue, Fartown, was jailed for a total of seven years eight months after admitting three charges of possessing indecent images, one of possessing prohibited images, three of distribution, three of breaching the SOPO, three of attempting to incite a child to commit sexual activity and one of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

June 2010

Man, 25, possessed 72 indecent images

A pervert voluntarily told police he had child abuse images on his mobile phone, a court heard.

Chelmsford Crown Court was told officers were making a routine visit to Ricky-Lee Cavanagh when he told them about the pictures.

When his phone was later examined, officers found 72 indecent images ranging from levels one to four, the lowest level of seriousness to the second highest.

Judge Charles Gratwicke told Cavanagh, 25, anyone looking at the images “could feel nothing but anger”.

He added: “You did not take these pictures, but if it was not for people like yourself having an interest in such pictures, then young children would not be abused in this manner.”

Cavanagh, of Jackson Road, Clacton, admitted possessing child pornography when he appeared in court.

He was banned from possessing a mobile phone with internet access for three years, told to take part in a sex offenders’ programme run by the probation service and banned from working with children for life.

He was also banned from being at the home of anyone under 16 unless a parent or guardian was present, and put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

The court heard Cavanagh had served the equivalent of an eight-month prison sentence on remand.

Richard Scott, prosecuting, said when Cavanagh was visited by police on February 8, he told police there was indecent material on his phone.

Steven Levy, mitigating, said Cavanagh received the images from another man.