#childmolestor | Sex offender who used ‘aliases’ and accessed dating sites during order breach is jailed


A County Durham sex offender who used “aliases” and accessed online dating sites is now behind bars after breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Steven Watson was made subject of a SHPO in 2011 after carrying out serious sexual offences.

But the 39-year-old was hauled back in front of a judge on Tuesday, after breaching the order and failing to comply with notification requirements in 2020.

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Durham Crown Court heard that police went to Watson’s home, unannounced, on August 3, 2020, to carry out checks, but he claimed he had recently lost his mobile phone, meaning it could not be inspected.

The next month, on September 28, Watson again claimed to officers he did not have a phone, but told them he would soon be getting one.

Prosecutor, Katie Spence, said that officers then called his landline phone on October 15, explaining that his annual registration was soon due.

But days after that, police received an “anonymous phone call” from a person who claimed that Watson had “met up with a female” in Durham and that a sim card had been “cut up” afterwards.

Ms Spence said Watson was then arrested soon after the call and he handed over a Samsung phone which he claimed he’d had only three days.

The court heard that the phone was seized and examined.

Ms Spence said it later transpired that Watson had been carrying out “porn searches”, and he admitted in an interview he had viewed teenage pornography on “legal sites”.

The court heard that Watson, of Great North Road, Chester-le-Street, carried out “persistent breaches” and had different online “aliases”.

Watson eventually told the police that he did indeed have a phone at the time and “should have told” the officers.

Ms Spence said that he admitted he would access different “dating sites” and would regularly forget his log in details, resulting in him creating new details each time.

Judge Ray Singh jailed Watson for 32 months.

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