April 2023

Andrew Stephenson of York jailed for voyeurism and child sex images

A sexual deviant who altered innocent pictures of other people to make them obscene or sexual has been jailed.

Adam John Stephenson, 38, used computer software on one photo to make it look as if two men were touching a child sexually, said David Hewitt, prosecuting.

Police also found evidence Stephenson had been a voyeur for 11 months and found many photos on his phone, each featuring a woman who was unaware that the picture had been taken.

The last had been taken the day before he was arrested.

Some of the voyeurism photos had been altered digitally in a sexual manner.

Stephenson, of Farro Drive, Rawcliffe, York, pleaded guilty to two charges of making indecent photographs, two of making pseudoimages of children and one of voyeurism.

Judge Simon Hickey told York Crown Court: “In my judgement the only proper punishment that can be meted out in this case is an immediate prison sentence.”

He jailed Stephenson for two years, put him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and barred him from working with children or vulnerable adults.

“You still pose a risk to certain members of the public,” he told Stephenson.

The judge made the 38-year-old subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order, including banning him from taking photos of children, having devices capable of taking covert photos, forming sexual relationships without informing the police, a ban on having internet capable devices or online storage without the knowledge of the police and using computer wiping software or software that concealed his identity online.

Mr Hewitt said police went to Stephenson’s home after receiving a tip-off on April 13, 2021.

They arrested Stephenson who said “he couldn’t believe it and protested his innocence and expressed shock at having been arrested,” said the barrister.

He initially claimed he had received “unsavoury” photos via WhatsApp which he had deleted as well as leaving the WhatsApp group.

He had also joined Tumblr in order to access pornography but some images had appeared to contain young girls and he had deleted them.

Interviewed again after police had analysed his phone, he said nothing.

Mr Hewitt said police found search terms for child sex images which Stephenson had used on an adult pornography website, 21 sexual images of children of the least serious category and one video and three images of the middle category of sexual images of children.

They had also found that he had downloaded Adobe Photoshop which he had used to alter pictures to make them more sexual.