Ex-Radio One DJ upped prison sentence for child sex offenses

A former Radio One DJ who arranged to have sex with vulnerable children in the Philippines has had his prison sentence increased from 12 to 18 years by Court of Appeal judges.

Mark Page, 63, who worked at the station in the 1980s, was sentenced to 12 years in prison by Judge Paul Watson at Teesside Crown Court in March, after being found guilty of four counts of having organized the commission of a sexual offense against a child between 2016 and 2019.

Page, 63, a divorced father of three from Stockton, Teesside, had denied all charges.

Three appeal court judges concluded on Friday that the 12-year sentence was unduly lenient, during a hearing at the London Court of Appeal, after a request by Solicitor General Alex Chalk.

Lord Justice William Davis, Mr Justice Martin Spencer and Justice Kristina Montgomery concluded that Page’s “overall criminality” was not reflected in the 12-year sentence.

Lawyer Benjamin Holt, who represented Mr Chalk at the appeal hearing, had expressed concern about the “totality” of the 12-year term.

He suggested the sentence be between 12 and 24 years.

A lawyer representing Page had argued that the sentence was too long.

Trevor Burke QC has suggested the term be reduced to 10 years.

Lord Justice William Davis said the appeal panel found the sentence to be unduly lenient.

He said Page’s “overall criminality” was “not reflected” in the sentence Judge Watson handed down.

Judge Watson had heard how Page, a match announcer at Middlesbrough Football Club matches for 20 years until his arrest, had a long career in broadcasting and set up a successful radio station for the British Army.

Two counts related to contact Page had via webcam from his home, while two others related to frequent trips he made to the Philippines.

Judge Watson had imposed a lifelong sexual abuse prevention order and said Page’s offenses involved the “grotesque sexual abuse of young children” for the purpose of “sexual gratification”.

“You have profited from poverty and deprivation in an underdeveloped country where children are regularly forced, by economic and social deprivation, into acts of prostitution,” Judge Watson told Page.

“Your sole purpose was to engage children, as young as 12, in vile sexual activity to satisfy your perverse appetites.”

He described Page’s delinquency as “the epitome of depravity”.

Judge Watson heard how Page used frequent business trips to the Philippines, as well as charities, as cover.

Facebook has alerted a charity following concerns raised about messaging on its platform.

The charity notified UK law enforcement and Cleveland Police carried out a search warrant at Page’s home in January 2020.

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