May 2022

Police honed in on paedophile voyeur’s mobile phone

Vile voyeur Steven Shipp of Scunthorpe has avoided prison despite admitting he has an obsession with underage children when police found indecent images on his phone.

At Grimsby Crown Court, Shipp, 43, of Melford Court in Scunthorpe admitted attempting sexual communication with a child and possession of indecent images on his phone.

Prosecuting, Andrew Semple said Shipp had a previous caution for voyeurism for using binoculars to spy on a 14 year old girl’s bedroom.

The prosecutor told how Humberside Police, supported by intelligence from the National Crime Agency, detected Shipp using his phone for communication with children.

The offences were committed between November 2019 and September 2020.

They attended at his address which he shares with his wife of three years.

His Samsung Galaxy phone was analysed and found with 283 indecent images and a few videos. Mr Semple said the phone had an app which allowed Shipp to watch others playing video games on computers, including boys aged 12 and 13 years old.

The camera on the phone would be panned round from the computer games screen to focus on the boys, with whom he communicated. He told one whether he shared a fantasy of being in a school shower.

When he was arrested Shipp told police he found boys and girls attractive.

Judge Michael Fanning told Shipp he had “a worrying obsession with children.” He said: “We don’t know if they were a 14-year-old child or whether it was an adult out for entrapment or an adult who enjoys the same as you. You engaged in communication with a child for your own sexual gratification.

“Your intention was to have communication with a 13-year-old boy. You are a 43-year-old and communication with a child of 13 years who is still developing sexually and the last thing they need is a 43-year-old such as you sending pictures of themselves and asking for photographs of them. It is incredibly harmful.”

The judge added he had to give him credit for an early guilty plea, though he was not bound by a guideline on sentence.

He imposed a sentence of one year which is suspended for two years. He must attend the Horizon programme and work with probation services to take part in 30 rehabilitation activity days.

The judge also ordered 150 hours unpaid work in the community.

He imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order lasting 10 years to ban all contact with children and ensure police can check his internet history.