Stephen Lazell

Article by James Gregory: The wife of a convicted paedophile has said she will stand by her husband despite him being sentenced for watching child and animal pornography.

Stephen Lazell, 59, of Abbots Ride in Billericay, accessed indecent images of babies and children over a 13-year period.

It came to an end when police conducted a search of his home on June 26, 2017. He was subsequently arrested after six devices were found to have almost 2,000 still photos and nearly 400 movies of children on them.

Carolyn Gardiner, prosecuting, told the court how the defendant had searched for '13-year-old picture incest' and stored the photos in a folder marked 'Dad' on his laptop.

But she also accepted that Lazell had taken full responsibility for his actions, evidenced by his guilty plea at Basildon Magistrates' Court on May 3, and sought to address his problem by attending courses at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity dedicated to prevent child sexual abuse.

Mrs Lazell, who waited outside the court room during his sentencing, explained how he had made a mistake and said:

"He is a good man and I will stick with him."

Mitigating on behalf of Lazell, Jay Kallagher echoed his wife's sentiments, revealing that he had attended the course voluntarily and was remorseful for his actions.

"After a year of these proceedings, he has come to terms with the reality of these offences and the impact on his wife and family," she explained. "He wants to close the door on that today. His health has deteriorated. He is very remorseful for his actions and he has shown that today."

Judge John Lodge, passing sentence at Basildon Crown Court, said:

"Over a large number of years you have used and accessed filth on the internet. Every image is of a child somewhere in the world being abused. That is why the courts take it seriously indeed. However, I believe I can suspend your sentence because one, you are of previous good character, two, your immediate recognition of the offences and the fact you are seeking help and three, the work done in the community by probation officers in continuing your work with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation which was your own choice, meaning the chances of offending are reduced. The market will be diminished for these images."

Lazell was handed a ten month sentence suspended for 24 months to run concurrently on the three counts of possessing indecent images, possessing a prohibited image and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

He will also have to undertake 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days, sign the sex offenders' register for a ten year period and was served with a sexual harm prevention order, also for ten years.

Article by James Gregory, Essex Live

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