Sex offender avoids being jailed after being caught with unregistered phone

A sex offender who failed to notify police that he had a new phone has narrowly avoided being sent to prison.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 10:16 am

Sixty-year-old Nigel Elwick was handed a suspended sentence and a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) last year after he was convicted of attempting to engage a child in sexual conversation online while he was living in Lincolnshire.

Under the terms of the 10-year SHPO he must inform police about any devices that can access the internet.

Elwick appeared at Leeds Crown Court this week to answer a charge of breaching the SHPO, which he admitted, along with committing an offence while already on a suspended sentence.

Elwick was caught with a second phone (library pic)

Prosecuting, Anna Bond, said officers went to Elwick's house on Cambridge Street in Normanton in November last year over a different matter, and while they were there asked to check his phone.

On his Nokia phone they found a photo of another phone, which he then confessed he had upstairs.

He said it had no sim card and he used it to watch TV. He told the officers he had forgotten to inform the authorities.

Both phones were checked and there was no evidence of any illegal activity.

No mitigation was presented to the court after Judge Tom Bayliss QC said he would not be activating the suspended sentence for his previous conviction.

Judge Bayliss said: "This was, in my view, a serious and deliberate breach.

"You knew, or should have known, the terms of the SHPO. It has a purpose to stop people like you from offending.

"The terms are meant to be draconian."

He handed him a new 13-month jail term, suspended for 12 months.

Elwick was convicted at Grimsby Crown Court last year after making sexually-suggestive comments to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl over the internet, although it turned out to be decoy looking to snare paedophiles.