A prolific sex offender breached his sexual harm prevention order by uploading indecent images to the internet via Snapchat and was found to have more than 800 indecent images of children.

Joshua Newton, 25, was given a five-year sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) in 2017 along with a community order. He was then given a 13-month custodial sentence and had a 15-year SHPO in February 22 for breaching that order.

On April 22, 2023, after his release, Newton’s offender manager DC Harrison received information that Newton had uploaded indecent images via Snapchat.

He visited Newton’s address and the defendant handed over a mobile phone which, upon examination, showed a Snapchat page that had not been logged with police.

A further analysis of the phone, after Newton had been arrested, uncovered a TikTok account that had also not been registered.

Permission for Newton to access both of these apps had not been granted as they allow the user to delete data.

These accounts were registered using an email address that had not been given to the police.

That email address was also linked to two Google accounts, and the phone was found to contain access to a Mega cloud storage account.

Found within that account were more a total of 846 indecent images of children – 465 category A, 146 category B, and 238 category C, as well as three extreme pornographic images.

The Mega app where the images were located was found to be installed on the phone on January 23, 2023.

Sarah Gruffydd, prosecuting, said there were a “large number” of children depicted in the images though there was no evidence he had communicated with real children.

Anthony Horsfall, defending, said his client was under no illusions about the seriousness of his conduct.

He added Newton lived a “lifestyle of isolation” which was exacerbated by the pandemic and increased his “willingness to divulge in some of his interests.”

Judge Robert Altham, sentencing, said: “You are a persistent offender. So far you have shown no intention of complying with the orders made by the court and that is troubling.

“You have a persistent and enduring sexual interest in children such that you do pose a risk.

“Every one of these images of a child represents the abuse of a real living, breathing child somewhere.

“Each time you obtain one of these images you are encouraging people to abuse real living children.

“You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself for seeking to perpetuate that industry. You are going to have to learn you must abide by those orders otherwise the sentences are going to get longer and longer and you will spend much more of your young adult life in prison.”

Newton, of HMP Risley but whose last known address was Albert Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching a SHPO, one count of failure to comply with notification requirements, three counts of making indecent images, and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.