Colne paedophile hid computer from police

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A convicted Colne paedophile who hid a laptop computer from the police told officers he had been looking at things he shouldn’t have been doing, a court heard.

Adam James Thomas (35), who is subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, is banned from using any device with internet access unless he volunteers it to the police. He did tell officers who went to his home of other devices, but kept quiet about the laptop.

Burnley magistrates were told Thomas, who is also on the Sex Offenders Register, was eight days late in carrying out the annual registration of his address to the police.

Thomas was jailed for three years at Preston Crown Court in October, 2013, and at the time was described by police as a “sexual predator”. He had been convicted of attempting to incite a nine-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity and possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

He was also prohibited from having any unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16.

Thomas, of Keighley Road, Colne, admitted breaching the SOPO on October 31st by not producing the internet enabled laptop to police upon request and failing to comply with the notification requirements of the register.

The defendant was fined £100 and told to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Mr Andrew Robinson (prosecuting) told the latest hearing: “When the laptop was seized, the defendant did say he had been looking at things he shouldn’t have been doing.”

Mr Mark Williams (defending) said Thomas panicked and didn’t hand the computer over. The defendant had been very frank with the police, spent a night in the cells and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He added: “Police had immediately become suspicious about his behaviour. Probably within a minute he produced the laptop.”