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Sunderland sex offender jailed after wiping phone's internet history before police could check

A sex offender has been jailed after he wiped the internet history from his phone before police could check it.

By Karon Kelly
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 4:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2022, 4:46 pm

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Stephen Jones was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order in 2020, when he was given a suspended sentence for trying to meet a girl he had groomed, who turned out to be a decoy set up by paedophile hunters.

One of the terms of the order, which lasts ten years, banned Jones from erasing his search history on any internet device.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard when police went to his home on May 11 to carry out a routine check, Jones told the officers "you won't find anything, I've wiped it" and the phone revealed no internet history.

Stephen Jones.

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Jones, 55, of Gladstone Street, Sunderland, admitted breach of a sexual harm prevention order.

The court heard the latest offence was his third breach of the order.

Judge Christopher Prince has now sentenced him to 18 months behind bars.

The judge told him: "The point is, you are not to delete what is on your phone so officers can check what you have been looking at."

The court heard Jones claimed that the items deleted from his phone were games that had been slowing it down.

Jones had said he would be willing to comply with requirements and "try harder" in future.