Former Cromer minister convicted of possessing indecent images back in court for breaching order

Philip Hilstrop. Philip Hilstrop.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
4:25 PM

Former Cromer Methodist minister Philip Hilstrop, who was convicted of possessing more than 1000 indecent images, was back in court for breaching his sexual offences prevention order by having a mobile phone with a camera. His case has been adjourned for a report.

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Philip Hilstrop, 63, of Queen’s Road, Norwich admitted one count of breaching his court order between January 2012 and August 2013 and another breach of the order between January 2012 and May 2013, by having mobile phones capable of capturing images.

The court heard that Hilstrop in 2011 was given a four month suspended jail sentence for possessing more than 1000 indecent images. He was also placed on the sex offender’s register and made subject to the sexual offences prevention order, under which he was not allowed to have a mobile phone with a camera outside his home address.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said that when police made a routine check on Hilstrop they found he had a phone with a camera on it and that he had taken a photo on it while on holiday.

They also found he had an iPhone which he had not told police about.

Michael Clare, for Hilstrop, said they were technical breaches.

“He had a phone that had a camera on it. It is a technical breach of his sexual offences prevention order. It is not linked to anything sinister. It is just that he had a phone capable of taking pictures.”

He said the photo he had taken was of an Easter procession, in Spain, while on holiday.

“He had not realised he would be in serious trouble.”.

He said that Hilstrop also had an iPhone to replace one which had been dropped by accident down the toilet and had overlooked telling police that he had replaced it.

Mr Clare said that Hilstrop now had got himself a mobile phone with no camera on it.

Judge Stephen Holt said he wanted a full report and adjourned sentence until June 6.

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