Chorley sex offender spotted deleting app from his phone by probation officer

A convicted sex offender was spotted hastily uninstalling Snapchat from his phone when police and probation paid him a visit.

Keith Crook, 47, and formerly from Chorley, is subject to a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) after he was convicted of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a 12-year-old girl, following a sting by a paedophile hunting group.

The exchange, with a decoy, had included multiple Facebook “chat” messages and an indecent image of his private parts.

He got a suspended sentence order at Preston Crown Court on May 20, 2019 and was also given the SHPO, which restricted his internet access and use of web enabled technology, and he is on the Sex Offender’s Register.

Preston Crown Court

However he has breached both orders several times since.

Preston Crown Court heard on the most recent occasions, on July 31 and December 12 last year, he was asked to disclose his internet enabled devices.

On the first occasion he admitted he had had a smartphone but had sold it without showing it to police, and on the next a probation officer saw him deleting an app from his phone.

Defending, Richard English said he had come to court "expecting to go to custody".

Deferring his sentence for six months to assess how he progressed with help from the probation service, Judge Andrew Jefferies QC said: " It may sound like not very much for people to be sentenced for having a mobile phone, but you must appreciate that it is serious because of the nature of your original offending - that's what the court is concerned about."

Crook replied: "I'll do whatever I can Your Honour."


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