A dangerous pervert who was convicted of spying on mothers while they changed their babies in a supermarket has been jailed for breaching the terms of his sexual harm prevention order.
Convicted sex offender Paul Thomas was arrested in October 2020 for voyeurism after being caught perving on parents changing their children to satisfy his own depraved sexual urges.
During his interview with police, it became apparent that he had also breached a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) by staying overnight with a woman and her children, aged under 16, without informing authorities.
Thomas, 41, was handed an indefinite order after he was convicted of meeting with a child who he had been sexually grooming. The woman who he stayed with had no idea of his previous sexual offending history and had met him online.
Hariderpal Dhami, prosecuting, told the court how Thomas had disclosed to officers that he had been in a relationship with the mother-of-three when being interviewed about the voyeurism offence. The woman had no idea of his previous convictions but she did confirm that he had stayed the night while her daughters were present.
Thomas gave his phone to police on October 4 and disclosed to his probation officer that he had deleted messages from the Plenty of Fish dating site. Mr Dhami said: "His phone was analysed and there were 6,529 web entries that had been deleted. There was no suggestion that the material being sought was indecent images of children.
"He also deleted WhatsApp messages. There were 507 internet search items deleted. It seemed to be indicative that the defendant searched for his own name and details."
The 41-year-old, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to breaching an SHPO and two charges of failing to comply with notification requirements of the sex offenders' register, at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. Stuart Muldoon, mitigating, said: "He knows he is going to move to a different prison and complete a course that will help with the reduction of his risk. He is sorry for what he has done. The remorse is genuine.
"He did not wish there to be any interference by the authorities in that relationship. That is why he did not disclose it to the authorities."
Judge Sally Hancox, sentencing, jailed Thomas for two years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, she said: "You formed a friendship with a woman who had three daughters, two were under 16 at the time. You stayed overnight with that woman at her home, she being in complete ignorance of your previous offending record. "You failed to comply with the notification requirements in that you failed to tell those who monitor you that your address had changed. There was no wrongdoing on your part towards her or her family.
"You breached the SHPO by deleting your internet usage and search history on your mobile phone. You remain a risk. Thankfully, nothing found to be deleted was a concern. It was still a deliberate breach of your SHPO."
Police Constable Sarah Gifford, gave a statement after the case, she said: "Thomas thought he could lie and deceive police about his activities and cover his tracks. I'm glad he has been handed a custodial sentence and hope it goes to show how we continue to monitor sexual offenders in order to bring them to justice."