A pervert has been jailed for 17 months after a fight with a pub landlord led to the discovery of child abuse images on his mobile phone.
Daniel Bessell’s dirty little secret was uncovered by Ian Rampton and his colleagues at The Albion pub, in Willesborough, Ashford, in November 2014.
Bessell, of Cudworth Road, Willesborough, had been thrown out of the pub for punching Mr Rampton, who had approached him about bringing alcohol bought elsewhere into the pub.
However, staff later discovered a phone had been left in the venue, and when they searched through it to try to identify the owner, they found the “disturbing” pictures.
Bessell was arrested and later appeared at Canterbury Crown Court in October 2015, where he pleaded guilty to possessing two indecent images of children and assaulting Mr Rampton.
He also pleaded guilty to breaching two non-molestation orders.
Now, Judge Simon James has sentenced Bessell to 17 months behind bars.
He must also sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years.
Mr Rampton, who owns The Albion with his wife Nik, said he was pleased Bessell had been jailed, but said he felt the sentence was too short, adding: “He won’t learn his lesson.”
Mr Rampton has also said that the punch from Bessell was the “best smack” he had ever had, as it led to the pervert’s conviction.
“If he hadn’t hit me and been thrown out, he wouldn’t have left the phone, and we wouldn’t have found the pictures. I don’t mind being smacked for that” - pub landlord Ian Rampton
He said: “If he hadn’t hit me and been thrown out, he wouldn’t have left the phone, and we wouldn’t have found the pictures. I don’t mind being smacked for that.”
Remembering the night Bessell was thrown out of the pub, on November 16, 2014, Mr Rampton said: “There was a band playing and it was very busy.
“There was a man standing alone by the band. He looked like a bit of an oddball, and he kept turning around and going into his bag.”
Father-of-three Mr Rampton went over to him and caught Bessell sneaking alcohol from his bag.
He asked him to stop, but Bessell muttered something at him and so Mr Rampton told him to leave.
He adds: “He then punched me in the left eye, catching my glasses.
“I bundled him out of the pub – a few regulars saw what happened and helped.”
Mr Rampton said Bessell, once outside, tried desperately to get back into the pub, claiming he had a girlfriend inside.
However, the landlord, aided by his wife and others, managed to keep him out.
Looking back, he thinks Bessell must have been thinking of his phone, which was still in the venue.
Eventually, another customer called the police, who then arrived and arrested Bessell.
Mr Rampton went to the police station and gave a statement.
However, when he returned to The Albion, at about 12.30am, his staff told him a phone had been found at one of the tables and they suspected it was Bessell’s.
They looked through the pictures in order to establish whose phone it was.
Mr Rampton says: “We saw a few pictures of women at first, but kept looking to see if there was one of the owner. That is when we found the child images.”
He described the disturbing images as “horrible, disgusting and awful”.
The police were again called, and took the phone.
Officers then also discovered a second mobile belonging to the man, which also had indecent images on it.
Mr Rampton said: “The police have been great. They kept me updated all the time with the court case.”