WhatsApp messages about trucks land pervert HGV driver in trouble
Sex offender Dean Hearson has been fined GBP100 after he deleted WhatsApp messages. The 53-year-old truck driver - who had been previously been caught with child abuse images - was banned from deleting his phone history under the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO). Now he has been hit with a GBP325 court bill at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.
Prosecutor Simon Dykes said police visited the defendant's address on September 7 for a routine check. Mr Dykes said: "He was convicted in 2015 for making indecent photographs of children and was made subject to the SHPO in 2018. There are a number of prohibitions in place including not deleting internet history.
READ MORE: Half-naked man brandishing stick attacks two coppers near beauty spot "Police checked his iPhone 13 and it became apparent a number of WhatsApp messages had been deleted." In his police interview the defendant accepted he had bought the phone the day before.
He said he had a conversation with a man about trucks. He accepted he deleted the conversation. Mr Dykes added: "He has routinely breached orders of this type."
Hearson, of Hill Top, Brown Edge, pleaded guilty to breaching a SHPO. Joanne Corbett, mitigating, said: "It is only since he deleted these messages that he understands that WhatsApp is part of the internet." She said the messages were not of a sexual nature but just a general conversation with another truck driver.
Miss Corbett added: "He deleted it for no reason other than to clear it off his phone. "There was no intention to avoid detection, it was simply him clearing the messages off his system." As well as the fine Hearson was ordered to pay GBP185 costs and a GBP40 surcharge.