An ex-Radio One DJ who arranged to have sex with vulnerable children in the Philippines has had his jail term increased from 12 years to 18 years by Court of Appeal judges.
Mark Page, 63, who worked at the station in the 1980s, had been given a 12-year sentence by Judge Paul Watson at Teesside Crown Court in March, after being convicted of four counts of arranging the commission of a child sex offence between 2016 and 2019.
Page, 63, a divorced father-of-three from Stockton, Teesside, had denied all charges.
Three appeal court judges on Friday concluded that the 12-year sentence was unduly lenient, at a Court of Appeal hearing in London, after an application by Solicitor General Alex Chalk.
Lord Justice William Davis, Mr Justice Martin Spencer and Judge Kristina Montgomery concluded that Page’s “overall criminality” was not reflected by the 12-year sentence.
Barrister Benjamin Holt, who represented Mr Chalk at the appeal hearing, had raised concerned about the “totality” of the 12-year term.
He suggested that the sentence should be between 12 and 24 years.
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
Judge Paul Watson at Teesside Crown Court in March
A barrister representing Page had argued that the sentence was too long.
Trevor Burke QC suggested that the term should be cut to 10 years.
Lord Justice William Davis said the appeal panel had concluded that the sentence was unduly lenient.
He said Page’s “overall criminality” was “not reflected” by the sentence Judge Watson had imposed.
Judge Watson had heard how Page, a match announcer at Middlesbrough Football Club games for 20 years until his arrest, had a lengthy career in broadcasting and set up a successful radio station for the British Army.
Two charges related to contact Page had via a webcam from his home, while two related to frequent trips he made to the Philippines.
Judge Watson had imposed a life-long Sexual Harm Prevention Order and said Page’s offences involved the “grotesque sexual abuse of young children” for “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,” Judge Watson had told Page.
“Your sole purpose was to engage children, as young as 12, in vile sexual activity to satisfy your perverted appetites.”
He described Page’s offending as “the very embodiment of depravity”.
Judge Watson heard how Page used frequent business trips to the Philippines, as well as charity work, as a cover.
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 Page’s home in January 2020.