A convicted sex offender is back behind bars after he was caught with an illicit iPhone containing pictures of a child in school uniform.

Michael Pinkney had told officers that he had given his mobile phone to his brother but when they carried out an unannounced search of his home, they recovered the iPhone hidden under his duvet.

A search of the 35-year-old’s mobile phone showed that he had being using social media platforms Kik and Snapchat without alerting the police to his online activities.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said police were able to prove that the photographs of the young child, which were not of a sexual nature, had been taken in Billingham in March 2022.

The court heard how Pinkney was sentenced to 16 months in custody in March 2021 for possession of indecent images of children and was made subject to the sexual harm prevention order as a result of that conviction.

Pinkney, of Marske Lane, Stockton, pleaded guilty to four breaches of his SHPO following his arrest on October 24 last year for hiding the iPhone.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said: “He accepts that he will get an immediate custodial sentence. These are his first breaches of his SHPO, there are four breaches but three are connected to each other.

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“He had the good sense to plead guilty in the magistrates’ court.”

Recorder Andrew Sutcliffe KC sentenced Pinkney to 18 months in custody for the four breaches of the court order.

He said: “You have had contact with a young child without the knowledge of children’s services and that is very disappointing.

“The pictures were found on your phone when police carried out an unannounced appointment and found the phone hidden in your bedroom.”