A SEX offender’s use of an alias in joining a dating website has landed him back behind bars.

Timothy Iddon was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for three counts of making indecent images of children, at Newcastle Crown Court, in February, last year.

But he was back before the same court last May, for similar offences, putting him in breach of the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and the terms of his notification requirements as a sex offender, imposed as part of the February sentence.

It resulted in him receiving an immediate 12-month prison sentence, with the four months added from the suspended sentence.

Durham Crown Court, sitting at Newcastle, heard that on his release on licence, earlier this year, Iddon activated an invite to join the online dating service, PlentyOfFish.com, under the name Alan Smithy, but failed to inform police, which he was required to do as part of his notification terms.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said when he was arrested, at an address in Trimdon Station, Iddon’s mobile phone was seized and, on examination, his illicit joining of the dating site came to light.

He was interviewed and admitted the offences, stating that he used the site to look at women, referencing one woman with whom he was in communication.

Mr Abrahams said there was no suggestion he made any contact with children via the site.

Iddon said he followed a link he received on the internet shortly after his release from prison.

The 41-year-old defendant, of Hyde Park, Gateshead, admitted failing to comply with a sex offender notification order.

Michele Turner, for Iddon, said he made full admissions in interview and also gave details of his contact with the woman with whom he exchanged messages.

Miss Turner said he merely activated a link on an e-mail sent to him and had conversation with one woman featuring no more than 20 messages.

“There was no suggestion that in any way they were inappropriate, they were simple messages between two parties who were interested in each other.

“It certainly caused little risk, no harm or risk to this lady he was in communication with.”

Miss Turner said the defendant was subject to licence recall to serve the rest of his previous sentence, and is not due for release until September.

Judge James Adkin said: “He’s used an alias to contact women who might have children and in using an alias he’s obscuring his history.

“Although there was no harm or distress caused to the woman he was in contact with, if he had access to any children of that woman, that would pose a significant risk

“With his antecedent record, it gives rise for concern.”

He imposed an eight-month prison sentence and ordered forfeiture and destruction of Iddon’s phone.