Stewart Tivendale was caught with a mobile phone which he hadn’t declared to police – and a forensic examination found he had been using Snapchat and Kik. Despite being released from prison on January 21, the 26-year-old was back on the chat apps in May.
Tivendale had finished a two-year sentence, with a three-year extended licence period, after he was previously caught with images showing children being sexually abused – some involving girls as young as four. A forensic examination uncovered a host of disgusting pictures – 605 in total, including 161 in the most serious category A.
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At that sentencing in January, last year, Judge Peter Armstrong told him: “I have come to the conclusion that you do qualify as a dangerous offender and so an extended sentence is appropriate.” The court also heard how the “defendant poses a risk to children” and prior to that prison term, he served a three-year stretch after being caught with 11 hours of film depicting horrific child sexual abuse.
Tivendale’s illegal content was uncovered when he traded his mobile phone in at a Redcar shop in May 2018. The shop manager opened the phone to find a picture of a naked 13-year-old girl, with the title “dark web”, and called police.
Another 24 similar child abuse images were found, leading to the discovery of 1,193 more on his computer tower and another phone. The vile material included hours of videos on the computer, with the worst images showing children as young as nine.
Tivendale had been systematically searching for the pictures, chatting to underage boys and girls on the internet, asking for indecent pictures of victims and sending an explicit video. On Monday, Tivendale, of Westbourne Street, in Stockton, was handed a 20-month prison term – his third stretch for paedophile offences.
He pleaded guilty to two breaches of his sexual harm prevention order at an earlier hearing. Teesside Crown Court heard that he had signed his court order on February 3, to confirm that he understood that he had to declare any internet-enabled devices he had access to.
But when police arrived unannounced at his shared accommodation on May 6, they found that the house had no doorbell and rang his phone. The offender manager said there was a long delay before Tivendale opened the door, and once in his bedroom, he spotted a Goodman’s USB charger box.
Although Tivendale insisted he spent his time reading, watching TV and playing computer games, his supervisor found a hidden Samsung phone after a short search. Tivendale told the court that he intends to complete courses in prison that will help him address his problems; and that the courses weren’t available during his previous prison sentence because of Covid.