Sex crime pensioner jailed for having smartphone

A PENSIONER has been sent back to prison after being caught with a '˜covert' undeclared phone just days after being released from jail on licence for a sex crime.

Saturday, 13th January 2018, 5:13 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th January 2018, 5:21 pm
Brian Pepper

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Brian Pepper was released 20 months into a four-year prison sentence after being caught in a police sting.

As reported, the 67-year-old grandfather, from Gosport, had arranged to meet someone who he thought was a 13-year-old girl at a Burger King in Havant.

Instead he was met by police who found sado-masochistic restraints – including ropes, cords and belts – vodka and wine in a holdall in the footwell of the car.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He was jailed in March 2016 – but was back in court last week after failing to tell his supervising police officer he had signed a contract for a smartphone.

Pepper is subject to strict monitoring conditions that mean he has to tell officers of any internet-enabled device.

But when he was spoken to October 25, he only showed police he had an Alcatel ‘dumb phone’ – but failed to say he had signed a contract for a smartphone the day before.

James Kellam, prosecuting, said it was only discovered when his home was searched by police after he was investigated for another offence.

‘On November 1 he was questioned in connection with unrelated matters,’ Mr Kellam said.

‘His home was searched and a contract for a mobile phone was discovered.

‘It was not the phone that he told police about, it was a smartphone.’

Sentencing, judge David Melville QC handed Pepper a 16-month sentence to run concurrent to the current term for the sting operation.

Pepper is subject to recall until October 2019.

He said when the offender manager explained the sexual harm prevention order terms to Pepper he did not ‘seem to take them very seriously’.

Pepper, of Stakes Road, Waterlooville, admitted breaching the order at court.

An allegation of witness intimidation was withdrawn by prosecutors at the hearing.

Daniel Reilly, mitigating, said Pepper had realised his mistake in not telling police about the phone, and had used his own details to apply for and sign the contract.

‘What thereafter happens is clearly Mr Pepper not thinking through the consequences of his actions,’ said Mr Reilly.

‘He’s described it to me as a “stupid mistake” he made.’