Convicted pedophile broke court order by downloading private browser
A convicted pedophile who broke the terms of a court order by downloading a private internet browser says he did it to “block ads”.
Terence O’Neil was given a 10-year sexual abuse prevention order in June 2017, after admitting three counts of fabricating indecent images of children and one count of possessing images indecent children.
Peter Kelly, prosecuting, told the Workington Magistrates’ Court that the order regulated how O’Neil was to live in the community and his use of the internet.
The 43-year-old is prohibited from activating software that conceals or falsifies the IP address of an internet-enabled device.
Mr Kelly said officers came to O’Neil’s home address in Whitehaven unannounced on May 10 last year and recovered his smartphone.
The “Brave” internet browser was installed on it, which is a private web browser. The phone was examined by police and “nothing untoward” was found in the device, the court heard.
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O’Neil was questioned and admitted to being in possession of the smartphone. He was asked about the sexual abuse prevention order and appeared to show “some ignorance” about it.
Police told O’Neil he needed to be aware of the terms of the order.
He told agents he acquired the browser to block ads while browsing the Internet. He said he used the web browser to access YouTube and legal adult material.
O’Neil said he downloaded another web browser, but it was not compatible with his Google account.
The defendant, of Corkickle, Whitehaven, admitted breaching a sexual abuse prevention order, between October 2020 and May 2021.
Sean Harkin, defending, requested that a pre-sentence report be made before his August 23 sentencing.
Heather Stuttard, Chief Magistrate, warned O’Neil that all options were open, including jail.
He was released on unconditional bail until his next court appearance.
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