Wirral man jailed for possessing sexual images of children and breaching order

A man from Wirral has been sentenced to two years in prison for breaching his Sexual Harm Prevention Order by possessing sexual images of children.

Ian Hobley, 55, of Bebington, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, 7 November, to 11 offences involving making indecent images, possessing prohibited images and three offences of breaching the SPHO. 

This involved failing to register his electronic devices with the police, failing to make them available for inspection and deleting the internet history.

On Friday, 6 October 2023, officers on a routine home visit to Hobley’s property, as part of his SPHO, found he was in possession of a device that he had failed to register.

When reviewing this device, officers found suspected indecent images of children and he was arrested. 

When Hobley’s devices were further examined, there were 450 images classed as Category A, along with 1,179 other images in Categories B and C. There were also two Category A videos found.

As well as his two-year prison sentence, Hobley has also been issued with an updated SHPO for ten years.

Detective Inspector Steven O’Neill said, “Hobley was arrested after officers on a routine home visit as part of his SHPO found an electronic device that he hadn’t registered with us. This led to the sickening discovery of explicit sexual images of children.

“Hobley pleaded guilty to the offences because the evidence was so strong against him.

“Officers working in the Sex Offender Unit regularly conduct visits each month to ensure that offenders on the Sexual Offenders Register living in the community are closely monitored.

“Officers also work closely with partners in probation and housing to ensure that the public are protected and risk of further offending is minimised.”

Sex offending has such a huge and terrible impact on victims, and Merseyside Police is determined to continue looking at innovative new ways of identifying repeat offenders at the earliest possible opportunity, to prevent young people from coming to further harm from abuse and exploitation.

If you are a child or young person suffering sexual or physical abuse, the following organisations can also provide help and support:

NSPCC – call 0808 800 5000 or e-mail help@nspcc.org.uk
Childline – call 0800 1111

If you’ve been affected by sexual violence of any kind don’t be afraid to tell someone, find the courage to come forward and get the help you deserve.

You can report rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences anonymously here: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/ro/report/rsa/alpha-v1/advice/rape-sexual-assault-and-other-sexual-offences/how-to-report-rape-sexual-assault-other-sexual-offences/

There is a lot of support available from specialist officers within Merseyside Police and through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside service delivered jointly by two registered charities.

In Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral, support is provided by Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (RASA) Merseyside who are available on 0151 558 1801 and, in St Helens and Knowsley, by the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063.

Image: Ian Hobley/Merseyside Police

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