Disgraced ex nurse breaches sexual harm order over wiper software

A mental health nurse who was struck off over a stash of indecent images of children and animals has been back before a court for breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 10th March 2017, 11:51 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:10 am
Nicholas Howard
Nicholas Howard

Nicholas Howard, of Wray Crescent, Leyland, was employed as a registered mental health nurse by Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust in Warrington but was sacked in 2014 after admitting making and possessing indecent images, and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Alongside a sexual harm prevention order he was sentenced to a three year community order and ordered to attend an internet sex offender’s treatment programme.

The 55-year-old was also given a sexual offences prevention order for 10 years and a five year sex offenders notification requirement.

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But Preston Crown Court was told he admitted breaching the order by having a tablet with wiper software designed to delete his internet browsing history.

The prosecutor, Frances McEntee said: “On this occasion police attend as they were charged to do in regards to keeping track of him.

“He had a tablet device and a phone. The officers asked if they could inspect the same. They did so but couldn’t find any history on the device.

“When the tablet was examined by the experts it was found to have a software designed to wipe search histories and the like.

He added: E“In interview he suggested he bought it recently, it may have already been on and may have self activated.

“Really that explanation was not going to be accepted by the crown.

“In respect of the original SOPO the terms were in relation to using any device and deleting such history.”

It is his second breach of the order, the first related to him working in a shop where he came into contact with young people.

He was given three months suspended for 18 months.

Howard was one of 14 men charged with crimes relating to indecent images following Operation Toledo – a Lancashire Police probe into the sexual exploitation of children.