A REGISTERED sex offender who breached a court order by talking to a church minister in Nigeria on Facebook using his ex-girlfriend’s name as his profile has been jailed.

Preston Crown Court heard that having been released following a stalking conviction, Anthony Robert Kirkbright was being escorted by police from prison to a hostel in St Peter’s Street, Blackburn, on April 16.

During that journey he signed a notification form which stipulated that he must make police aware of any aliases he was using online. That requirement related to an order Kirkbright was given in 2018 to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years following a sexual assault conviction.

Prosecuting, Beth Pilling said officers went to the hostel on April 24 for a compliance visit they examined 53-year-old Kirkbright’s phone they found his was logged into a Facebook profile under the name Jean Williams.

Ms Pilling said: “There was a profile picture on a message that had come through to that profile. The defendant was asked who Jean Williams was and he explained to officers that it was his ex-partner’s last name.

“He told officers that he would go straight to the police station and register the name. He indicated that he had been advised to do this before recall to prison and he was arrested due to the fact that name had not been registered.

“He indicated that he knew he had a requirement and that he hadn’t registered the name simply because he had to walk to the police station and he had difficulties doing that because he given the scenario that as ongoing he only had an hour to do so.

“He said the name was being used simply to buy items from Facebook marketplace.”

Ms Pilling said that police were initially concerned that the person Kirkbright was messaging on Facebook had a profile picture of a young child, but investigations into account revealed it was linked to a woman in Lagos who is a church minister and they expect the photograph was of a relative.

The court heard that conversations with that user go back to July 2017 but are of a ‘non-sinister nature’.

Ms Pilling said: “Clearly the conversation on April 24 is not about buying and selling items as the defendant indicated was his only use of that profile. However, there is nothing sinister about those messages.”

Kirkbright, who has 25 convictions for 37 offences, pleaded guilty to failure to comply with his notification requirement.

The court heard that Kirkbright has breached his notification requirements on five previous occasions, including in 2017 when he used the name Jean Williams to buy children’s clothing on Facebook.

Defending, Philip Holden said: “It’s plain that the defendant has a number of learning difficulties and he struggles with understanding complex concepts and has been leading for very many years now something of an itinerant lifestyle. He’s in prison and then at bail hostels with inappropriate accommodation and then he’s breached orders and gone back into custody.

“What he tells my instructing solicitor is he knew well that he was conversing with an adult and he knew that she was a church minister who was living abroad at the time. There was no real prospect of any meeting.”

Judge Beverley Lunt jailed Kirkbright for six months.