Tyne & Wear

Sex offender posed for pictures as Santa in Newcastle

Brown dressed as Santa Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Stephen Brown dressed up as Santa and held up a sign saying "get ya picture taken for a donation"

A registered sex offender dressed up as Santa and offered to pose for pictures with children.

Stephen Brown stood outside the Fenwick department store in Newcastle holding a sign which said "get ya picture taken for a donation".

His actions breached an order barring him from contact with children.

The 40-year-old, who spent five years in prison for possessing indecent images, was jailed by Bedlington magistrates on Monday for six weeks.

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption It was the second time Brown had breached the order since he was released in 2017

Brown, of Fawdon Lane, Fawdon, was jailed in 2012 for 14 offences including possession of indecent images, making an indecent image and inciting a child to perform a sex act.

He was also given a lifetime Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning him from contact with children unless he had the consent of a parent or guardian aware of his convictions.

Brown was arrested on 30 November after shop staff became suspicious and contacted police. Magistrates were told it was the second time he had breached his order since his release from prison in January 2017.

Ch Insp Steve Wykes, of Northumbria Police, said: "Many people would have walked by Brown and thought that it was perfectly normal for him to be offering people the chance to pose for a picture.

"We believe two people posed for a picture with him but it was clear they had no idea [he had a conviction] and knew what he was doing was wrong. He will spend Christmas in prison and I hope that sends a strong message to both Stephen Brown, and anyone else who is subject to a similar order."

Image copyright Northumbria Police

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