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Registered sex offender deleted intimate messages

25 Mar 2020

A registered sex offender deleted the conversation history on his mobile phone in an attempt to hide evidence of intimate messages.

Justin Gotsell, 46, was visited by officers from the Public Protection Unit (PPU) on 16 July as part of a routine check on registered sex offenders.

During the visit to Gotsell’s home in Wisbech officers discovered he had been deleting WhatsApp and Facebook messages on his mobile phone - a direct breach of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

In interview Gotsell fully admitted he had deleted several chats with various people, including messages of a sexual nature to adult women.

He claimed he was under so much stress that he had forgotten he wasn’t allowed to delete the messages.

Gotsell pleaded guilty to breaching his SHPO at Peterborough Crown Court on Monday (23 March) and was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for a year.

Sergeant Paul Stimpson said: “All registered sex offenders in our county are allocated a member of our PPU team to monitor them. Part of this includes carrying out unannounced visits at their home, accessing their electronic devices and speaking to them about their daily activity.

“These requirements are in place to protect the public and that is why we visit them so regularly to make sure reoffending does not occur.”

Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to someone, can apply for disclosure information through Clare's Law and Sarah’s Law.

More information on sexual offences and the Sex Offenders Register can be found on the force website.

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