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  1. ITV Report

Registered sex offender jailed after dressing as Santa and offering to take pictures with children for money

Sex offender Stephen Brown has been jailed for breaching a lifetime Sexual Offences Prevention Order Credit: Northumbria Police

A registered sex offender will spend Christmas behind bars after he dressed up as Santa and offered to take pictures with children for money.

Stephen Brown, 40, has been jailed for six weeks after being arrested on Northumberland Street in Newcastle city centre.

Brown dressed up as Santa Claus and stood near to Fenwicks’ window offering to pose for pictures in exchange for a donation. Security staff at the department store were concerned about the stranger and contacted officers on patrol in the city.

Police believe two people posed for pictures with the convicted peadophile.

CCTV shows Brown dressed as Father Christmas Credit: Northumbria Police

Police discovered he was a registered sex offender and was subject to a lifetime Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

Brown had been handed the order in 2012, after he was jailed for five years for possession of indecent images and inciting a child to engage in a sex act.

He was immediately arrested and later charged with breaching the SOPO.

On Monday 2 December, Brown was jailed for six weeks after a court was told it was the second time he had breached the order since being released from prison in January 2017.

The donation box and sign Brown used in Newcastle Credit: Northumbria Police
  • Chief Inspector Steve Wykes, of Northumbria Police said:

Stephen Brown would not have looked out of place on Northumberland Street this weekend dressed as Santa Claus.

But security staff at Fenwicks knew something wasn’t quite right and have contacted our officers who have checked his details and taken decisive action.

Brown’s SOPO stated that he was not allowed any contact with children unless he had the consent of a parent or guardian who was aware of his convictions.

We believe two people posed for a picture with him but it was clear they had no idea he was a convicted peadophile and he knew what he was doing was wrong.

– Northumbria Police

Brown, of Fawdon, Newcastle, was jailed for five years in July 2012 after admitting a string of child sex offences.

A court was told how a teenage girl had contacted police after an anonymous social media account had befriended her and sent a string of sexual messages.

He had encouraged her to perform sex acts and even threatened the schoolgirl when she refused to carry out his demands.

The girl contacted police and officers launched an investigation to identify who the person was behind the anonymous social media account. Brown was subsequently arrested at his home. During the search of his home, police then discovered a number of indecent images of children.

He was arrested and convicted of 14 offences including possession of indecent images, making an indecent image and inciting a child to perform a sex act.