December 2019

Smart TV lands Preston sex offender in the dock

A convicted paedophile has admitted breaching his sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

Atul Kumar Sombhai Parekh, of Burrington Close, Fulwood, Preston, was charged with three counts of breaching the court order after police attended his home and discovered he was using a Smart TV that was internet enabled.

The 53-year-old, who was assisted in the dock by a Gujarati interpreter, was given the order in June after he was convicted of charges relating to possessing indecent images of children.

SHPOs are imposed to place restrictions and controls on sexual offenders, usually in terms of their access to children, or the internet.

Prosecuting, Frances McEntee said between June 15 – three days after the order was made – and August 22 he failed to notify the police of the internet device.

It was found he had the private browser on the TV set to ‘on’, meaning the history gets deleted.

And between the same dates he failed to make another internet enabled device – his Samsung mobile phone – available to police for inspection.

Parekh admits the offences but claims he did not realise the television was web enabled.

Judge Simon Medland QC, sitting at Preston Crown Court, told him he must see his solicitor in the New Year to give his basis of plea.

He was granted bail in the meantime, and the judge ordered a pre sentence report.

Parekh must attend court again on February 7 to be sentenced.