A REPEAT sex offender from Cleator Moor secretly used his elderly mother’s iPad device to search for indecent images of children.

The illegal activities of Benjamin Connor, whose behaviour was said to be affected by his poor mental health, came to light after his mother asked a family member to free up storage space on the two devices the defendant had been using.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, said that after leaving prison following his most recent sentence Connor, 46, moved in with his elderly parents.

Though willing to give him a temporary home, they did not want it to be permanent because of the trouble he brought.

“He was living there and making use of mother’s iPad and her Samsung phone, both of which of course allow access to the internet,” said Mr Burke.

The barrister continued: “Matters came to light when his mother asked this defendant’s brother, who is IT literate - more so than his mother - to look at her devices to clear storage because both were indicating that storage was about to reach capacity.”

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It was while doing this task that the brother noticed an indecent video of two young girls. When police interviewed the defendant, he said that looking at such images made him 'happy'.

Connor, of Duke Street, Cleator Moor, admitted three breaches of his existing sexual harm prevention order and downloading an indecent image of a child. His past offences include exposure, indecent child image offences and breaches of his sexual harm prevention order.

Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Barker noted that Connor had used his mother’s devices to search for indecent images of children and he had downloaded one video of such child abuse.

It happened just weeks after he was given a sentence, and against a background of him committing indecent images offences in in 2012,, 2017, and 2020.

“You undoubtedly have a significant mental health history,” said the judge.

Judge Barker listed the conditions the defendant is diagnosed with, including schizoaffective disorder. Those conditions were being treated with various medications but Connor did not wish to have them injected.

He wished to take it orally because he feared needles.

“My advice to you would be to seriously reconsider that and to address your fear of needles,” said the judge, saying that such a formalised medication approach would improve Connor’s mental health.

“Your offending is inextricably linked to your mental health conditions,” continued the judge, concluding that at present there was no realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

The judge jailed Connor for a year and put him on the Sex Offender Register for seven years. The defendant’s existing sexual harm prevention order, requiring strict monitoring of his internet use, remains in place.

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