A CONVICTED paedophile who dressed up as Santa Claus and offered to pose for pictures with children in exchange for money is back behind bars.
Stephen Brown, 40, was caught by police after standing near to a department’s store festive window display in Newcastle, England on Saturday (November 30). He reportedly offered to have his picture taken with children whilst dressed in full Christmas attire donned with a fake white beard.
Security staff at the store raised the alarm after becoming concerned by the man hanging around outside bothering youngsters. Police arrived and after an identity check they discovered he had been handed a lifetime sexual offences protection order for possession of indecent images and inciting a child to engage in a sexual act.
Brown was immediately arrested by police on the packed shopping street where he was later charged with breaching the order for the second time since being released from prison in January 2017. The paedophile will now spend the next six weeks behind bars after being jailed at Bedlington Magistrates’ Court on Monday (December 2).
Brown has a shocking history of predatory behaviour. In 2012 he was jailed for five years after admitting a string of child sex offences. A court was told how a teenage girl contacted police after a man sent her a series of sexual messages online. He was later identified as Brown and an investigation revealed that he encouraged the schoolgirl to perform sex acts and had threatened her when she refused to carry out his demands. After he was arrested, officers discovered a large number of indecent images of children on his computer.
Chief Inspector Steve Wykes of Northumbria Police, praised the teamwork of the department store’s security staff and officers on patrol in the city at the weekend. He said:
“Stephen Brown would not have looked out of place on Northumberland Street this weekend dressed as Santa Claus.
“There has been a fantastic atmosphere in the city in the lead up to Christmas and thousands of people were in the area doing their shopping.
“Many people would have walked by Brown and thought that it was perfectly normal for him to be offering people the chance to pose for a picture.
“But security staff at Fenwick 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.”