Teesside radio DJ Mark Page denies trying to arrange sex with child, court hears


A Teesside radio DJ tried to arrange sex with children as young as 12 in the Philippines, a court has heard.

Mark Page, 62, of Ingleby Barwick, who previously worked as a BBC Radio 1 DJ, denies five counts of arranging the commission of a child sex offence.

Three of the offences were said to have occurred in 2016 on webcams when he was in the UK and the children were in the Philippines, Teesside Crown Court was told.

The remaining two offences were said to have happened in person after Page travelled to the Philippines.

Jo Kidd, prosecuting, said: "He used charity and business as a cover to meet under-age people in order to meet them for sex."

Page is accused of bargaining down the price to have a 13-year-old boy involved, saying in a message "3k too much for him", later making a payment of 2,000 Philippine pesos, which is around £30.

Jurors were told that Facebook monitors raised concerns about messages which exploited children which were sent to a charity that protects young people.

The charity contacted UK law enforcement and Cleveland Police carried out a search warrant at Page's home in January 2020.

Officers seized his phone, tablet and a computer tower, which were analysed, and the Crown said that showed Page had been in contact with children in the Philippines and had arranged payments by money transfers.

Miss Kidd said Page used the pseudonym 'Pancho' on a Philippines-based dating app.

At the time he was managing director of Garrison FM, which provided radio services for the British Army, the court heard.

Page, who is also a former stadium announcer at Middlesbrough FC,  is accused of sending explicit Skype messages to a girl in the Philippines, asking for a 12-year-old to join her.

He is also accused of asking for a boy to take part when he had travelled to the Philippines, and the final offence, in 2019, related to arranging a sexual encounter with a girl aged 13.

Miss Kidd said Page denies being responsible for the comments, and that by implication, somebody else used his Skype account, his dating app account and someone else arranged the payments.

The trial continues.