Heysham man jailed for online grooming of children and indecent images

Philip Montford from Heysham has been jailed for nine years.

Philip Montford from Heysham has been jailed for nine years.

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A man from Heysham has been jailed for grooming children online and possessing indecent images.

Philip Montford, 54, of Stanley Road, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment on Thursday April 22 after he was found guilty of possessing and distributing indecent images of children. He was also found guilty of three counts of inciting a child to perform a sexual act.

Montford was arrested in February 2014 after officers received an initial referral from the Children’s Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

Following a search of his computer equipment, around 500 child abuse images and videos were recovered.

During the investigation, officers received information that Montford had also been contacting children over social media, leading to a further analysis of his internet devices. It emerged that he had contacted over 100 children online and extensive enquiries revealed two further victims that Montford had been grooming.

DI Bev Foster from the Lancaster Public Protection Unit said: “Montford’s sentence reflects the grave, disturbing nature of the images he had in his possession.

“This result is the culmination of a complex, two year investigation and is the result of the sheer hard work and tenacity of the investigating officers.

“We are committed to protecting and safeguarding children within our communities and the experienced detectives at the Public Protection Unit in Lancaster have worked tirelessly to ensure that Montford is brought to account for his actions.”

Montford was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and will be subject to a comprehensive Risk of Sexual Harm Order.