Sex offender breached court ban when police found a secret mobile phone hidden under his pillow
A sex offender hid a secret mobile phone under his pillow when police visited his home.
Kevin Golden, 57, is subject to a ten-year sexual harm prevention order which means he has to tell the authorities about any device he has that is capable of accessing the internet.
The order was imposed in January 2017, when Golden was given a community order for turning up to meet a 14-year-old boy.
Golden had believed he had been chatting to the child during online conversations but paedophile hunters Guardians of the North had set up the fake profile and turned up at the illegal meeting with the police in tow.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Golden has been out of trouble and complied with the authorities since he was given the order in 2017.
When police went to his home for a routine visit in November last year he said he had no internet devices but police found the phone under his pillow.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court: "He admitted the telephone as his and said he was going to use it for looking for jobs."
Golden, of Hertburn Gardens, Washington, admitted breach of a sexual harm prevention order.
Judge Tim Gittins sentenced him to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a nighttime curfew for four months.
The judge said the phone had not been used for any illegal conversations or contact.
Judge Gittins told Golden: "I suspect incarcerating you for a few months would do more damage to the rehabilitation that has been shown over the time of the probation order and what is actually required is to make sure you don't commit any further offences like the ones you did in 2017."
Vic Laffey, defending, said Golden had been "foolish" by not revealing he had the phone and had "done well under the order".