Known Leeds paedophile 'given another chance' despite web searches for abuse images

Slota has been jailed several times previously, but the judge decided to 'take a chance' on him. (pic by National World)
Slota has been jailed several times previously, but the judge decided to 'take a chance' on him. (pic by National World)

Michael Slota has been caught downloading the sick images on several occasions including 2004 and 2012, and was jailed for the latter when police found nearly 3,000 images.

Placed on the sex offender register, and subject to a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO), it means officers can demand to see his internet devices.

Leeds Crown Court was told that safeguarding officers had visited his home address on Queenswood Heights, Headingley, without warning on November 15 last year. They were concerned about an app that had been downloaded then deleted, so they returned at a later date to seize the devices.

They found searches had been made for abuse images, prosecutor Leila Taleb told the court. They returned on March 22 this year and found that he had also downloaded the TikTok app, but under an anonymous name. This put him in breach of the terms of the sex offender register.

The 50-year-old admitted breaching his SHPO and the terms of the offender register. He has seven previous convictions for 51 offences.

Mitigating, Laura Addy said Slota struggled with depression and that loneliness was a “big factor of that”, although she added: “He is an isolated individual, which is perhaps not surprising given his record.”

She said he has been targeted by vigilantes in the past due to his offending and had been unable to get work because of a heart condition.

Judge Andrew Stubbs KC told him: “You have been here many times before and you know the consequences. You are again unable to control you sexual interest in children. There are concerns about the ongoing interest you have got. The time has come to give you a chance to deal with it, to rid yourself of that.”

He gave him a two-year community order, 50 rehabilitation days, ordered him to enrol on a sex offender programme, 100 hours of unpaid work and an indefinite-length SHPO.

Judge Stubbs reserved the case to himself and warned Slota: “If this goes wrong and I was wrong to take this chance, then there is the chance for me to put this right.”