A CONVICTED sex offender opened a Snapchat account on his phone and then deleted it.

Blackburn magistrates heard the action put Samuel McLachlan in breach of a sexual harm prevention order which placed restriction on his internet access.

But his solicitor, Neil Howard, said the account was only opened for 10 minutes before his client deleted after realising it automatically deleted internet history which he knew was against the rules.

"At the time he had a particular interest in cars and that was why he downloaded Snapchat, not for any nefarious purpose," said Mr Howard.

"As soon as he realised that deleting internet history would put him in breach of the order he deleted Snapchat."

McLachlan, 32, of Low Bank, Burnley, pleaded guilty to breach of the order. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement, fined £20 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £95 victim surcharge.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said McLachlan had been on the sex offender register since 2016 and a further conviction in 2018 had resulted in the sexual harm prevention order.

She said when police carried out a routine compliance visit and examined his phone they found a message referring to Snapchat account activity.

"There was no evidence of Snapchat on the phone and it was clear he had used it and then deleted it from his phone," said Miss Kenyon.

"He is specifically prohibited from deleting his internet history."

Mr Howard said McLachlan had told the police what he had done and why.

"He does not regularly break court orders and is normally very diligent in his efforts to comply," said Mr Howard.