Ex-Radio One DJ Mark Page's jail term increased after arranging sex with children in the Philippines

Page's home was raided in January 2020. Credit: Cleveland Police

A former Radio One DJ, who arranged to have sex with vulnerable children in the Philippines, has had a jail term increased to 18 years by Court of Appeal judges.

Mark Page was given a 12-year sentence by a judge at Teesside Crown Court in March after being convicted of arranging the commission of a child sex offence between 2016 and 2019.

Three appeal judges on Friday 10 June concluded that sentence was unduly lenient, at a Court of Appeal hearing in London, after an application by Solicitor General Alex Chalk.

After his home was raided by Cleveland Police in January 2020 and his laptop, mobile phone and tablet were confiscated, Page claimed he had been hacked.

But he did not mention this while he was being interviewed by police, giving "no comment" answers and later explaining to the jury he was in shock.

In March 2022, a jury at Teesside Crown Court found the 63-year-old divorced father-of-three guilty of four out of five counts of arranging the commission of a child sex offence.

  • Page arriving at court in March

Page, who worked at the radio station in the 1980s, 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.

The court heard he used frequent business trips to the Philippines, as well as charity work, as a cover for his perverted interest in underage sex.

Two of the offences were committed remotely from the UK in 2016, while two happened in the Philippines on separate trips made by Page in 2016 and 2019. Page was sentenced to 12 years.

At the appeal hearing in 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. 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 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.