A COUPLE who admitted exchanging indecent images of a child engaging in sexual activity have been jailed.

Nathan Clarke, 29, of Cavendish Street, Keighley, and Emma Stevens, 23, of Eston, near Middlesbrough, were branded “corrupt and depraved” as they were both sentenced to six years in prison.

Teesside Crown Court heard Stevens sent the indecent images to Clarke who she struck up an online relationship with.

Clarke, who is soon to be a father, “manipulated” Stevens into sending the pictures but the pair were caught when a friend discovered the images on Clarke’s laptop.

Daniel Cordey, prosecuting, said: “Mr Clarke was talking to Ms Stevens who he said was his girlfriend. He said they met while living in Spain, they spoke all day every day via WhatsApp.

"One day Mr Clarke was streaming onto the TV from his laptop. He left his computer open and the woman he was staying with saw naked pictures of Emma Stevens pop up. When she closed the images down the image of the young child appeared, she slammed the laptop shut.

“Mr Clarke said the images must have come from his phone and he unwillingly received the images.”

Andrew Stranex, defending Clarke, said: “It is clear at the time he was lonely and isolated. Whilst on the face of the messages he is asking for images, he was not in the position to have any form of direct control over her. He accepts what he has done is entirely and utterly wrong.”

Andrew Turton, defending Stevens, said she is “vulnerable” because of her low intellect and maturity. He said: “This has had a devastating impact on her and on her wellbeing. The level of support she had got in the community appears to be very limited. Whatever happens to her she will be left to her own devices and any support she must muster to continue her young life.

“This vulnerable defendant engaged in a consensual exchange of messages and images."

The pair were both sentenced to six years in prison, placed on the sex offenders register and handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for an indefinite period.

Judge Deborah Sherwin said the pair were “corrupt and depraved” and she was concerned that Clarke was soon to be a father “because this shows you are capable of manipulative behaviour and he poses a risk to children.”

Stevens pleaded guilty to three counts of inciting sexual activity with a child, one count of taking an indecent images and one count of distributing indecent images. Clarke pleaded guilty to one count of inciting sexual activity with a child and three counts of possession of indecent images.