May 2016

Bradford musician jailed for breaching sex offender register order

A MUSICIAN, who was a registered sex offender, failed to tell police he had set up a Facebook account using his stage name, a court heard.

Anthony Hirst, 55, of Toller Lane, Bradford, was jailed for eight months yesterday after admitting two breaches of the sex offender notification requirements.

Bradford Crown Court was told that Hirst had been imprisoned for 15 months in 2002 for sexually assaulting a boy under 14 and was subject to the notification requirements as a sex offender.

Prosecutor Syam Soni said the defendant was supposed to notify police if he changed his name.

But police protection officers, who were monitoring him, found Hirst had set up a Facebook account, with pictures of himself on the profile, under the name of Tony Ryan.

He had not registered the name with police.

Mr Soni said the defendant fully admitted the offence and explained it was his stage name which he used for musical purposes and on his Facebook account.

The court heard Hirst had absconded to the US in 2003 without informing the authorities.

He said that while in Texas he was using Ryan, which was his mother’s maiden name, as his stage name. He had used it for 10 years and had an email address under that name.

The court was told Hirst had been extradited back to the UK in 2012 after he was sentenced for sexually assaulting another young child

On his return he was imprisoned for leaving the UK without notifying the authorities.

The two breaches occurred after his release from prison, in October 2014.

The second breach happened in April last year when he stayed for 28 hours at an address where two children were living.

The address was that of a friend he had met through a music group, while using the alias Tony Ryan.

Sentencing Hirst, Judge Peter Benson said the offences were serious matters and it was the second time he had failed to comply with requirements.

“There is a public interest in making sure the requirements of registering as a sex offender are complied with, otherwise the regime does not have any meaning,”