Northampton child sex offender given community order for failing to notify police of new laptop

The 54-year-old man was given a suspended prison sentence last year for being in possession of indecent images of children

By Megan Hillery
Saturday, 7th May 2022, 8:22 pm

A Northampton man has been given a 12-month community order after breaching a sexual harm prevention order by using a new laptop without notifying police.

Andrew Lear, aged 54, of Danewood Gardens was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court on Friday, May 6 after pleading guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order made on March 31, 2021.

The order was made after Lear was handed a suspended eight-month prison sentence in January 2021 for three counts of having indecent images of children.

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Andrew Lear appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday May 6, 2022.

The court heard that police attended Lear’s home unannounced on October 12 2021 and he was found to have a new laptop without notifying the police Visor team within three days of purchasing it.

According to a police officer, Lear was “very forthcoming” and told them that his wife purchased the laptop “some time ago". Lear claimed he informed his probation officer but Emma Rance, prosecuting, said that the probation officer had no recollection of being told about the laptop.

Ms Rance said: “I make no assertion there was anything on there that should not have been but it was capable of accessing the internet and a device the police knew nothing about.”

Lear, representing himself in court, said he “completely forgot” to notify police about the laptop because he has been caring for a disabled family member, which he said has been “immensely draining.”

The defendant said his wife purchased the laptop to apply for further support and disability allowance.

Lear told the court that the only other thing he uses the laptop for is to stream music and access backing tracks on YouTube so he can play his guitar to them, which he says helps his well-being.

Lear said: “I am very sorry to my family mostly and I am on top of it now. I should have looked at the documents more.”

Miss Recorder Levett, sentencing, said Lear clearly made an “inadvertent mistake” and used the laptop only for “innocent purposes.” Instead of activating Lear’s eight suspended prison sentence, she decided to add another two months to his supervision period.

Miss Levett imposed a 12-month community order and ordered Lear to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.