Ex Leeds and Radio 1 DJ Mark Page arranged child sexual exploitation

Mark Page, a former radio presenter best known for his work on Radio 1 and Aire FM in Leeds, was today convicted of four counts of arranging the sexual exploitation of a child in the Philippines.

The popular presenter, who also worked as an announcer for Middlesbrough FC, was found guilty of the charges on Wednesday afternoon, following a trial that lasted five days.

Jurors at Teeside Crown Court took just four hours to deliver their verdict, although he was also found not guilty on a fifth charge, reports TeessideLive.

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Throughout the trial, Page, 63, maintained his innocence and claimed that one of his online accounts had been hacked.

But the prosecution argued otherwise, telling the court that three of the webcam chat-related offenses Page had with Filipino children; along with two other times, Page was in the Philippines and tried to arrange a sexual encounter with a girl in his hotel room.

Responding to the claims, Page, of Snowdrop Close in Stockton, told the jury his accounts must have been hacked and someone else had been using his Skype and mobile phone when the messages and online chats took place. take place between 2016 and 2019.

The court also heard he frequently transferred money to Filipina women he met on the Filippino Cupid dating site, with several Western Union transfers traced and found after Skype conversations.

Mark Page outside Teesside Crown Court

Before making their decision, the jury was asked to consider Jimmy Savile when judging Page based on his previous good character.

In her closing remarks to the jury, Jo Kidd, for the prosecution, said being well liked by friends and family and carrying out charitable activities did not make Page incapable of the offenses.

She said: “I am not saying this on the grounds that just because Mr Page was a Radio 1 DJ does not make him guilty of these offences.

“But it should be noted that when you put on a public face, when you do charity work, that doesn’t mean the underbelly of their sexual depravity isn’t real.”

He is now in pre-trial detention until Thursday March 10, when he is due to be sentenced.

After the verdict, Middlesbrough record keeper, Judge Paul Watson QC, addressed the members of the jury, saying: “You have carried out your duties as jurors in an exemplary manner. You have shown exceptional dedication to your work I will pronounce a sentence on Mr. Page in the morning at 10:15 a.m.

Mark Page outside Teesside Magistrates' Court
Mark Page outside Teesside Magistrates’ Court

“If any of you would like to attend, of course you can and you will allocate a seat in the courtroom.”

The news comes as a shock to many, as Page was a well-known and much-loved personality known as the voice of the Riverside Stadium for Middlesbrough FC.

Between 1983 and 1986 he was also the presenter of BBC Radio 1’s early weekend breakfast show, while also having been a recognizable voice on several other regional Yorkshire and North radio stations -East, including BBC Radio Cleveland and Aire FM in Leeds.

Following an investigation by Cleveland police, the Crown Prosecution Service revealed that they were able to gather a massive amount of digital forensic evidence to refute Page’s claims that he was hacked. This allowed them to attribute to him the multitude of fake profiles used in these crimes.

Oriana Frame, of the CPS, said: ‘The actions Mark Page has taken to contact and arrange for child sexual abuse show he is a dangerous predator. He believed that hiding behind fake accounts protected him from finding out about his heinous crimes.

“We hope the convictions against him today will serve as a warning to anyone trying to organize child sexual abuse online.

“There is always a digital trail of your actions and, if such evidence is uncovered, we will work closely with the police to vigorously prosecute those involved.”

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Edward L. Robinett