A stand-off between prosecution and defence lawyers around a sex-offender’s previous record, has stalled sentencing for indecent child image charges.

Details of past matters in England cannot be located and when prosecution counsel suggested the defendant could provide this, his lawyer retorted, “It’s up to the Crown to set out their stall, not the defence to do it for them.”

The files were routinely destroyed but Press have since sourced coverage of the case and passed it to the court.

Both the content and sentencing remarks are disturbing.

Richard William Samuel Crompton (49) from Backfarm Road, Drumquin was residing in Norfolk in 2009, when he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl after plying her with cannabis and beer.

Jailed for 33 months at Norwich Crown Court, the judge controversially remarked, “No force was used and in a sense, she consented. Matters are aggravated by the differences in ages. It was a one off.”

Crompton is now before Dungannon Crown Court for making indecent images of children – the titles of which are too graphic to report - between May and July 2017, charges to which he has pleaded guilty..

Highlighting the previous convictions the prosecution acknowledged absence of specific detail, but concerns arose after Crompton told a probation officer sex took place although he was never charged with raping the child.

The prosecution revealed a series of texts between Crompton and the child as “the court is entitled to consider any information available,” the graphic content of which the prosecution argued “is extremely relevant, given the current offences”

Defence counsel responded: “The prosecution appears hell-bent on re-trying the Norwich case. This is very dangerous ground … One wouldn’t need to be a legal practitioner to realise 33 months custody doesn’t reflect rape of a child. Clearly, the conviction is relevant, but it appears the prosecution have endeavoured to draw what they say are relevant texts from the Norwich case, yet the court hasn’t the basis of sentencing. It’s dangerous to rely on the text content when I cannot make meaningful submissions or speak to their provenance or authenticity.”

Pointing to public safeguarding, he warned against, “the same mistake possibly made at Norwich Crown Court, where it appears no supervision or treatment was imposed. The custody threshold is passed - it would be utopian to suggest otherwise - but at the lower range. This involves far from the significant volumes courts habitually deal with.”

Returning to the ambiguity around Crompton’s previous convictions, the prosecution stressed: “There is no issue if consent was involved or not … If he disagrees with the factual background, he is in prime position to indicate what he was sentenced for.”

The defence sharply replied: “It’s for the Crown to set out their stall, not for the defence to do it for them. We are simply highlighting potential inaccuracies and urging caution.

“This is about indecent images, not what happened 10 years ago in Norwich.”

Countering this, the prosecution argued authority exists for Crompton to assist the court.

They said: “The prior instances are directly relevant.

“They were serious sexual-contact offences, and regardless of the activity, are significant.”

In closing, Judge Sherrard remarked: “This court must focus on the current matters, but given the emphasis placed on the Norwich case, additional information would be useful.

“While I appreciate the defendant has a role to play, the prosecution are best-placed to bring details to my attention. I would rather have something definitive before I proceed.”

The case will return next month.