A Derby paedophile who once stole treasured photographs of his ex-girlfriend’s late daughter to add to his hoard of obscene images has now been caught hiding more vile pictures in a biscuit box.
Staff at a probation lodge where Darren King was staying came across the disturbing photos when they cleared his room out after he had been arrested on suspicion of possessing child abuse images.
Six images in the biscuit box were classed as category A – the most serious. Also in the box were another 157 child abuse pictures.
Analysis of the 49-year-old’s mobile phone, which was seized by the police, found it to contain more than 1,100 indecent images, 283 of which were classed as category A.
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The offences come eight years after King was jailed for two years after admitting one count of possessing, and 27 of downloading, indecent images of children.
That hearing was told how he stole the photographs of his ex-partner’s girl, taken when she was four and partially undressed. The mum alerted police after discovering the images at King’s home.
King appeared at Derby Crown Court via videolink earlier this week in relation to these latest offences.
During the hearing, Judge Jonathan Bennett adjourned King’s sentence at the request of his defence barrister, Justin Ablott, until next month.
Judge Bennett told King: “I was in a position to deal with you today but Mr Ablott wants to do the best job he can for you in light of these new guilty pleas to very recent charges.
“With that in mind I will adjourn your sentence.”
The court heard how police went to Burdett Lodge Probation Hostel, in Bass Street, on May 30 and seized King’s mobile phone.
Sarah Allen, prosecuting, said: “From the mobile phone evidence there are images of categories A to C and the defendant was charged.
“In addition there were some physical photos in a cereal box or biscuit box the staff found when they were clearing his room out.”
King, formerly of Osmaston Road, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images, three charges of possessing indecent images and to breaching a sexual harm prevention order when he appeared from HMP Nottingham over the videolink.
King has a history of possessing child abuse images.
After his arrest in 2012, a search of computers seized from his address revealed he had downloaded more than 4,267 indecent images of young girls aged between two and 15.
The following year, judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court replaced his prison sentence with a three-year community order – combined with supervision and a treatment programme – saying it was the best way to ensure he did not reoffend.
Lord Justice Treacy said the snapshots of his then partner’s daughter – who had died the previous year, aged 14 – were “completely innocent” in the context of a family photo album but that he had taken them for his own gratification.
Sentencing King in October 2012, Judge John Gosling said the way he had acquired the photographs of his girlfriend’s daughter was “grotesque” and deserved a stiffer punishment that the maximum recommended by sentencing guidelines.
But his lawyers argued his jail term was over the top and appealed it.
After hearing that King was “motivated” to complete a sex offenders’ treatment programme but would not be behind bars long enough to do so, Lord Justice Treacy agreed the community punishment was the best course of action.
Allowing the appeal, he said: “Whilst an immediate term of custody was entirely justified in this case because of the large-scale downloading of images, there would have been insufficient time for him to go on an internet sex offenders’ treatment programme while in prison.
“The community will now best be protected by an order which enables some constructive work to be done with him. It is the course most likely to prevent a repetition of his offending.”