An Ellesmere Port man found with indecent images of children on his computers was also found to have been sexually abusing a girl for several years.

Jordan Leiper, from Rossmore Gardens, Little Sutton, previously pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to a total of 10 charges – five in relation to downloading and possessing indecent images of children and extreme pornography, and five in relation to child sex offences. The defendant did not enter a plea on two further counts, which were ordered to lie on file by judge Michael Leeming.

Appearing back at court on Monday, March 25, the 27-year-old was sentenced to a total of seven years, eight months.

Prosecuting, Karl Scholz said police had received information from the National Crime Agency that an address in Ellesmere Port was being used to obtain indecent images of children.

Police attended in July 2023 and, during their searches, seized six devices – two of which the defendant had attempted to hide on a flat roof outside the bedroom window.

Analysis of the seized devices found hundreds of indecent videos and images of children. Of those, 243 videos and 42 images were assessed as category A – the most serious category, with 51 videos and 24 images assessed as category B and 23 videos and 21 images at category C. In addition, there were 10 videos and 21 images of extreme pornography, plus four prohibited images of a child.

Judge Leeming noted the indecent material included children aged between six and 16, with some involving children performing sex acts on other children and one image involved a child in pain.

Some of that material had been obtained while Leiper was already subject to an existing Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and a sex offenders rehabilitation programme, the court heard, after Leiper had previously been sentenced for possessing indecent images in 2017.

Also found in the material caused officers concern as chat records were found of Leiper and an underage girl, the court heard.

Police interviewed the girl and found she had been groomed from the age of 12, with "frequent" sexual activity happening at that time and which included sexual intercourse when she was 15. Leiper had also sought indecent images of the girl during this time.

Mr Scholz read out a statement on behalf of the victim, who was present in court for sentencing, in which the victim said she had always struggled with her mental health, but had not understood why.

She had added: "In reality, I was being groomed and being taken advantage of for a long time."

The victim added her brain was "in a fog" and she did not have any energy to take care of herself, and she wondered what kind of adult she could have been had this not happened to her.

The judge added he did not look favourably on the defendant's pre-sentence interview with probation, where he had tried to deny the sexual offences ever took place.

Defending, Max Saffman said that was no longer the defendant's position and he accepted they had taken place, knew he had done wrong and was to be punished.

The sexual offences had taken place several years ago and he had not reoffended on that type of crime since.

Judge Leeming told Leiper: "You are a persistent sexual offender with an unhealthy interest in child pornography.

"You would have known full well that engaging in behaviour like this is not only unlawful but completely unacceptable."

He added Leiper's actions had had a "destabilising" effect on his victim.

The judge said, while the age gap between the defendant and the victim was "not enormous", it was still "significant".

Leiper must serve half of the 12-month sentence he received for the indecent images offences, and two-thirds of the six years and eight months he additionally received for the sexual offences with a child, in custody.

He was handed a new indefinite SHPO restricting his internet usage and contact with children, and handed an indefinite restraining order preventing contact with his victim.

He must sign the sex offenders register for life, and the devices seized were to be deprived.