March 2021

Heaton sex offender breached court order by taking photo of young child

A sex offender breached a court order by taking a photo of a young child.

Anthony Gray was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) in 2014 after he was jailed for 12 months for having indecent images of kids.

The terms of that order meant he had to register all internet-enabled devices with the police and could only take pictures of a person under 16 with written permission from their parent or guardian.

A court heard, however, that the 42-year-old was found to have snapped a young child, who was known to him and his family, on his iPhone camera in October last year.

Despite the image containing nothing untoward, Gray had failed to get the written permission from the youngster’s parent.

He also failed to register an iPhone 6 and laptop with the police, North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

Gray, of Sixth Avenue, in Heaton, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a SHPO and was given a three-year community order.

Magistrates heard that Gray was jailed for 12 months in 2014 for offences of having indecent images of children and was made subject of the SHPO for seven years.

In October last year, he took a photo of a youngster on his iPhone, although there was nothing sinister behind it.

Leanne Duffy, prosecuting, said Gray hadn’t sought the written permission of the child’s mother and, when asked by police, she said she hadn’t given it to him.

Miss Duffy added: “Then, in December last year, the defendant failed to register an iPhone with the police and acquired a laptop and began using it to search the internet and failed also to register that.

“On February 4, an officer attended the defendant’s address to carry out a review. She requested to see internet-enabled devices.

“He gave her his iPhone, saying he had registered it with the police.”

The court heard that the officer seized the mobile and realised it was not registered with the police so a search of Gray’s home was carried out.

Miss Duffy said: “A laptop was found hidden in the defendant’s bedroom.”

Magistrates heard that it was not found that Gray, who had 16 offences on his record, had been downloading anything sinister on the two electronic devices.

As part of the community order, Gray must attend a sexual offending behaviour programme and pay £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.