Westcliff sex offender jailed

A registered sex offender has been jailed after he was found with indecent images of children.

The Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders (MOSOVO) team carried out a regular monitoring visit in March last year to ensure Francis Thomas was complying with Sex Offender Notification Requirements.

As part of the requirements, he had to tell police about any devices he had that could hold digital data, and all profile names – including aliases – that he used online.

During the meeting, the 70-year-old disclosed he had two mobiles and an e-reader, and gave them a list of online profile names.

A few weeks later, the Police Online Investigation Team received information that internet accounts linked to Thomas were being used to access indecent images of children.

A warrant was carried out at his home in North Road, Westcliff, in April, and they found 17 indecent images of children and two extreme pornographic images on a memory card in one of his mobile phones.

While he was under investigation, the MOSOVO team visited him in November. They found internet accounts on his mobile phone, which he had not told them about.

Thomas admitted one count of making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child, one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image, and one count of failing to comply with notification requirements.

He admitted the charges at Basildon Crown Court on July 23 and was jailed for 13 months on August 28.

He will continue to be subject of an existing Sexual Harm Prevention Order and remain on the Sex Offenders Register for a further ten years.

Two devices seized will be destroyed.


Mick Ferris

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