A registered sex offender who had hundreds of illegal images of children has been sentenced. 

Ian Crockford was the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) after being jailed for child sex offences in 2019.

The order severely restricted his access to digital devices and vulnerable people.

But on March 7 last year police received new information about Crockford being in possession of further indecent images of children.

He was arrested and analysis of his mobile phone and computers showed hundreds of indecent images of children.

The 52-year-old had also shared illegal images of children and instructed another person on how to abuse a child.

He was subsequently charged with six counts of making or distributing indecent images of a child, one count of publishing an obscene article and breaching his SHPO.

Crockford, of Stone Lane in Salvington, Worthing, pleaded guilty to all charges at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on December 12, 2023, and was released on court bail awaiting sentence.

While on court bail, officers identified that Crockford had breached his bail conditions and committed further criminal offences by obtaining a new mobile phone and attempting to sexually communicate with children. 

More indecent images of children were also found on his device.

Crockford was arrested again and charged with four further counts of making or distributing indecent images of children, publishing an obscene article and another breach of his SHPO.

The Argus: Ian Crockford has been jailed for three yearsIan Crockford has been jailed for three years (Image: Sussex Police)

He pleaded guilty to all charges again and at Lewes Crown Court on February 29 he was sentenced to three years in prison for all matters.

Detective Sergeant Paul Hitchcock, of West Sussex’s paedophile online investigation team, said: “Sexual Harm Prevention Orders are so important to protect our victims and the community and our officers have shown hard work and dedication to catch Crockford.  

“Offenders who are looking at breaching their orders will be punished, and this should serve as a warning.

“Crockford is a dangerous individual who is now behind bars.”