A CONVICTED paedophile who had indecent images of children as young as one on his phone tried to tell police he had not accessed them.
Christopher Lennighan, who served two years in prison in 2014 for having images of child sexual abuse on his devices, was jailed for another two years at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday.
Ms Louise Reevell, prosecuting, said Lenninghan had been banned from accessing any website he thought might contain indecent images of children and from deleting his internet browsing history following his 2014 conviction.
She said police visited his home in September 2019 to check he was following the rules and seized his mobile phone.
They found evidence that Lennighan had erased his browsing history and found some concerning search terms which he had deleted.
Police arrested Lennighan but he denied breaching his sexual harm prevention order, Ms Reevell said.
When officers examined his phone, they discovered 139 indecent images of children including three that were in the most serious category of child abuse.
They discovered the images in a part of Lennighan’s phone which was no longer accessible.
“The age range of the children depicted ranged from a baby aged about one up to children who appeared to be about 17,” said Ms Reevell.
She said the images depicted many different children.
Officers also found evidence that Lennighan had been searching for indecent images and had visited a Russian website known for containing such images, said Ms Reevell.
Lennighan was quizzed by officers again last May and he claimed he did not know he was banned from deleting his browsing history \_ despite it being part of the order he was given in 2014.
He also denied he had accessed indecent images of children.
Lennighan (42), of Churchfield Drive, Wickersley, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Sheffield Crown Court to three offences of making indecent photographs of children.
He also admitted two counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order.
All of the offences were committed in September 2019.
Lennighan has five convictions for 45 previous offences including multiple offences of making indecent photographs of children dating back to 2009.
Mitigating, Mr Clarkson Baptiste said Lennighan had in the past avoided offending when he was under the supervision of the probation service.
He said he was the sole carer for his elderly parents and if he was jailed it would have an impact on them.
Recorder Benjamin Nolan jailed Lennighan for two years and put him on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.
He said he would have jailed Lennighan for four years but he reduced the term because of the defendant’s caring role, his guilty pleas and because of the Covid restrictions in prisons.
Lennighan was also made subject to a ten-year sexual harm prevention order.