A SEX offender has been given a suspended prison sentence after he downloaded an app that allowed him to evade police checks.

It was the second time Owen Druett, 25, had been given a jail term but not made to serve it.

In 2020, he was given a suspended sentence for trying to entice an underage boy over the internet to skip school and have sex with him, and separate offences of having indecent images of children as young as toddlers. 

Kathryn Walters, prosecuting, told York magistrates this week that Druett downloaded the SnapChat app on his phone despite having been told he wasn’t allowed to use it because it automatically deleted messages sent by it.

When officers examined his phone they found he used an alias he hadn’t told the police about Snapchat and had made a number of contacts on the app.

They were making a routine visit to his home to check on his activities online and elsewhere. 

In 2020, he was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order that forced him to observe conditions enabling police to monitor him. They included forbidding him to use any internet device that didn’t keep records of his internet use.  He also had to tell police of every name or alias he used as he was a registered sex offender.

Druett, of Pottery Lane, York, pleaded guilty to breaching his sexual harm prevention order and failure to comply with his annual notification review under the sex offenders' register.

He was made subject to an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months on condition he does 30 days’ rehabilitative activities and 180 hours’ unpaid work. He must also pay £85 prosecution costs and a £187 statutory surcharge. Druett is unemployed and lives on benefits.

In 2020, York Crown Court heard how Druett sent sexually explicit messages to someone he believed to be a 12-year-old boy and urged him to meet him. 

The “boy” was a decoy profile run by the Yorkshire and Humberside Police Regional Organised Crime Unit to catch predatory paedophiles.

On that occasion, he was made subject to an 18-month prison sentence suspended on conditions for two years.

At York Magistrates' Court, his solicitor Liam Jackson said Druett had completed all the requirements of the crown court order and had not reoffended while being supervised by probation officers during the suspension period.

About the SnapChat offence, Mr Jackson said: “It was a stupid, foolish mistake. It wasn’t done with the intention of breaching (the order), he wasn’t thinking. It was simply a stupid mistake and he is very remorseful.”

Druett wanted to get back into employment. He also believed he was suffering from depression though he had not been formally diagnosed with it. 

The defence solicitor said a member of Druett's close family circle was gravely ill.