A Newcastle paedophile has been sentenced after getting caught when he left his phone with thousands of images of children on a bus.

Anthony Crosbie, of Eastfield House in Walker, lost his phone on a bus in 2020 where it was found by a member of the public. When they opened the phone, they found indecent images of children and reported it to police.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the children in the images were as young as one year old.

Michael Bunch, prosecuting, said: “The offences came to light in January 2020 when the defendant lost his mobile phone on a bus. A member of the public opened the device to identify the owner and was met with an indecent image of a child.”

Police were able to track the mobile phone back to Crosbie and he was interviewed that year, but made no reply. 

The lost mobile phone contained 169 Category A images, as well as 74 Category B and 214 Category C. The categories refer to the severity and graphic nature of the images. 

The majority of the children depicted were between the ages of two and four years old.

When Crosbie was arrested, another mobile phone was seized which had over 900 indecent images on it, depicting children from the ages of one year old upwards. A third device was later found and had over 1,900 indecent images on it.

He was charged with four counts of making indecent images of children and appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on September 5 for sentencing.

Andrew Walker, defending, said Crosbie was “ashamed of his behaviour” and remorseful. He said Crosbie was at a “low ebb” at the time of the offending and was drinking heavily. He added: “Frankly, in a number of ways his life was disintegrating.”

Judge Stephen Earl said the images discovered were “appalling” and handed Crosbie a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years. 

He must carry out 20 rehabilitation days, a six-month alcohol treatment programme and will be on the sex offender’s register for 10 years. A 10-year sexual harm prevention order was also imposed.

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