Man jailed for breaching Sexual Harm Prevention Order

A registered sex offender has been jailed after admitting to three breaches of his indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Robert Hicks, aged 68, and formerly of Campbell Road, Stoke on Trent, was sentenced to 16 months in prison at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on Monday (4 April).

In February 2022, police received a report that Hicks had sent an inappropriate image to a woman via WhatsApp.

A subsequent visit and search of his home address by officers from the Sex Offender Management Unit resulted in an additional sim card being found.

They also discovered a tablet device which had been hidden in a compartment of a coffee table stored in his room.

He was aware that possessing these items would breach his Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

On interview, Hicks admitted that the WhatsApp account was his, but declined to give any explanation about how he had managed access the messaging service. He admitted that he had the tablet for three years but had failed to declare this to officers on request, as he claimed to have forgotten about it. He also declined to provide a correct PIN for the device.

DS James Hargreaves, of Staffordshire Police Sex Offender Management Unit, said: “Robert Hicks is a deceitful serial offender who continues to demonstrate a disregard for the prohibitions placed on him by the court.

“We will continue to work towards protecting members of the public from those who pose a risk of harm to children and adults.”

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