Sunderland sex offender arrested after handing over computer he had not told police about

A grey-haired Sunderland sex offender convicted of possessing child sex images was caught with a computer he had not told police about.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:55 am

James Dorward, 66, had the device at his home in Franklin Street, Millfield, when his risk manager came calling on Friday, December 18.

Dorward handed it over without being asked but having it in his possession breached the terms of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order, a court heard.

The five-year order was imposed by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court when Dorward was sentenced in August 2017.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Law Courts.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Law Courts.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of possessing indecent images of children and one of making them.

Dorward was also put on the sex offenders register for five years, to which he also remains subject.

Prosecutor Leanne Duffy said: “The defendant was convicted at Newcastle Crown for the offence of indecent images of children.

“He has signed the sex offenders register and has a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

“The order prohibits him from possessing any device capable of accessing the internet, having its history deleted, or using any device capable of accessing the internet without telling his risk manager.

“He must make any device available on request.

“His risk manager attended his address and when asked where his home device was, he produced the number of a computer hard drive he had not previously given for inspection.”

Ms Duffy told magistrates in South Tyneside Dorward’s sole criminal conviction was his child images crime.

Rebecca Highton, defending, said: “He fully accepts that what he did was wrong.

“He bought the computer from a friend and when he turned it on, he noticed that it didn’t actually work.

“It wasn’t capable of accessing the internet. He thought that because it didn’t work, he didn’t have to reveal it.

“He fully accepts his guilt and is sorry for his error of judgement.

“He now knows that any device has to be registered with the police.”

Dorward pleaded guilty to breaching the terms of the order.

Magistrates told him the offence had caused no harm and accepted he had not acted in malice.

They fined him £136, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

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