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Former Radio One DJ Mark Page has been jailed for 12 years for a string of child sex offences targeting Filipino children
The sinister ‘dating profile’ used by ex-Radio One DJ Mark Page to ensnare vulnerable Filipino children has been revealed after he was jailed for 12 years today for a string of child sex abuse offences.
Mark Page, who worked at the station in the 1980s, was guilty of ‘grotesque sexual abuse’ of children as young as 12, and took advantage of their poverty, the sentencing judge said.
The 63-year-old divorced father-of-three from Stockton, Teesside, was convicted on Wednesday of four counts of arranging the commission of a child sex offence, between 2016 and 2019.
Two of the charges related to contact he had via a webcam from his home, while two happened during his frequent trips to the Philippines.
Teesside Crown Court was told one of his victims, a waitress then aged 13 with no father and who was the eldest of six children, has been traced and now lives in a place of safety.
The court previously heard that Page even tried to bargain down the price for a sexual encounter with a girl aged 12 and a boy of 13, saying 3,000 pesos – around £44 at today’s exchange rate – was too much.
Page had denied all offences throughout his trial but failed to convince a jury of his innocence.
Page told the court that his devices had been hacked but did not mention this while he was being interviewed by police, as he gave ‘no comment’ answers, later explaining to the jury he was in shock.
He was convicted of four out of five counts of arranging the commission of a child sex offence following a trial.
Judge Paul Watson QC jailed him for 12 years and imposed a life-long Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Pictured: Filipino Cupid Dating profile of ex-Radio One DJ Mark Page, using the alias Pancho
Former BBC Radio DJ Mark Page pictured arriving at Teesside Crown Court earlier this week
The judge said: ‘The offences of which you have been convicted involve the grotesque sexual abuse of young children for your own sexual gratification.
‘You took advantage of the poverty and deprivation in an under-developed country in which children are routinely forced, through economic and social deprivation, into acts of prostitution.
‘Your sole purpose was to engage children, as young as 12, in vile sexual activity to satisfy your perverted appetites.
Page worked in radio in the 1980s before becoming Middlesbrough FC’s match caller
‘It did not matter to you that you were robbing them of the innocence of their childhoods, it did not matter to you what long-term trauma and emotional damage you were leading them to.
‘You obviously delighted in their humiliation and the satisfaction of your own corrupt sexual desires.
‘This was, in my view, the very embodiment of depravity.’
Jo Kidd, prosecuting, said it was recently estimated that 60,000 children in the Philippines had been forced into prostitution and the situation had been made worse by ‘crippling poverty’ caused by lockdown.
The disgraced DJ, well known on Teesside as the match announcer at Middlesbrough FC games for 20 years until his arrest, had a lengthy career in broadcasting and set up a successful radio station for the British Army.
He used frequent business trips to the Philippines, as well as charity work, as a cover for his perverted interests.
Cleveland Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have since released photos of the sinister dating profile he used to prey on children in the Philippines.
Selfie of ex-Radio One DJ Page taken in front of the Robinson’s department store in Cebu City in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines, which was shown in court to disprove his alibi
The court heard Page went by the alias ‘Pancho’ on the Filipino dating site to meet young girls called Find Your Filipino Beauty.
The account shows a picture of him where he describes himself as someone who ‘works hard and plays hard too’.
His profile reads: ‘I hope you are nice, cute, pretty and easy to talk to. Hope that can turn to dating etc. Want a real person please DO NOT contact me if you’re going to tell me any of the following ‘I have a problem’ or ‘I have a big problem.’
Police found conversations between Page and a girl aged 14, who he allegedly met via the dating site.
In August 2016, Page allegedly told the girl he will be visiting the Philippines and asked her: ‘Can you fix a schoolgirl for me? How young can you do babe?’
The girl responded: ‘I can bring a schoolgirl who is 15.’
Page is then said to have responded: ‘Younger than her?’
When the girl responded: ‘Ok, 12,’ to which Page allegedly replied: ‘Girls 12 can do it OK’.
Page (pictured) was guilty of ‘grotesque sexual abuse’ of children, the sentencing judge said
Mark Page (pictured), 63, of Ingleby Barwick, Teesside, was found guilty following a trial
In October 2016, Page travelled to the Philippines and Ms Kidd showed jurors a photograph him geolocated to the country at the relevant time.
She read text messages in which he allegedly arranges for the 14-year-old girl to attend his room on the ground floor of the Prince Plaza ll hotel.
The court heard Page messaged the girl to say: ‘Hi, it’s Marky. Maybe we meet tomorrow at 4pm. I’m in Makati, who will you bring with you?’
Ms Kidd said the girl arranged to bring a 13-year-old boy with her and they haggled over the price.
Police discovered evidence that Page was still active three years later when he allegedly tried to coerce another Filipino girl, this time aged 13, into sexual activity.
Jurors were told he arranged to meet with the girl and agreed a fee of 1,000 Philippine pesos (around £14.50).
Facebook alerted a charity following concerns raised about messaging on its platform.
The charity informed UK law enforcement and Cleveland Police carried out a search warrant at his home in January 2020.
Page was jailed for 12 years during a sentencing hearing at Teesside Crown Court (pictured)
Following his arrest in January 2020, Page denied that he was the person behind the messages and replied ‘no comment’ to questions put to him by detectives.
Analysts studied a tablet, mobile phone and computer tower and checked his Skype activity, texts, bank account and money transfers before charging him.
Judge Watson praised Cleveland Police’s dedicated detectives and digital experts who brought Page to justice.
Detective Sergeant Kevin Carter from the Paedophile Online Investigation Team welcomed the sentence and said it may act as a deterrent for others.
He added: ‘The court heard how Page attempted to present himself as a respectable and credible individual, yet his actions betrayed the trust and confidence of many people, not least his family and close friends.’