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Convicted paedophile who dressed as Santa and offered to pose for pictures with children is sent back to jail

Will you have your children sit on Santa’s lap this Christmas for some cute pictures?

A convicted paedophile who dressed up as Santa and offered to pose for pictures with children in exchange for money has been sent back to jail.

Stephen Brown, 40, stood near the popular Fenwick’s festive window display in Newcastle city centre, where he offered to have his picture taken with youngsters while dressed in a red Father Christmas suit and fake white beard.

Police believe two people posed for a picture with Brown, who had a sign saying “get ya picture taken and leave Santa Claus a donation”, without realising he was a convicted sex offender.

Security staff at the department store raised the alarm with police after becoming concerned by the stranger hanging around outside.

Convicted sex offender Stephen Brown, 40, has been sent back to jail after dressing as Santa Claus and offering to pose for pictures with children in exchange for donations outside Fenwick in Newcastle on 30 November, 2019.

It was then that police discovered he had been handed a lifetime sexual offences protection order in 2012 after he was jailed for five years for possession of indecent images and inciting a child to engage in a sex act.

Brown was immediately arrested by police on a packed Northumberland Street on Saturday.

He was later charged with breaching the order for the second time since being released from prison in January 2017.

Brown will now be spending Christmas behind bars after being jailed for six weeks at Bedlington Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Brown, of Fawdon, Newcastle, was jailed for five years in July 2012 after admitting a string of child sex offences.

A court was told how a teenage girl contacted police after an anonymous social media account befriended her and sent a string of sexual messages.

Convicted sex offender Stephen Brown, 40, has been sent back to jail after dressing as Santa Claus and offering to pose for pictures with children in exchange for donations outside Fenwick in Newcastle on 30 November, 2019.

The user, later identified as Brown, encouraged her to perform sex acts and even threatened the schoolgirl when she refused to carry out his demands.

Brown was arrested at his home, where police discovered a number of indecent images of children during a search.

He was arrested and convicted of 14 offences including possession of indecent images, making an indecent image and inciting a child to perform a sex act.

Chief Inspector Steve Wykes, of Northumbria Police, praised the teamwork of Fenwick’s security staff and officers on patrol in the city at the weekend.

He said: “Stephen Brown would not have looked out of place on Northumberland Street this weekend dressed as Santa Claus.

“There has been a fantastic atmosphere in the city in the lead up to Christmas and thousands of people were in the area doing their shopping.

“Many people would have walked by Brown and thought that it was perfectly normal for him to be offering people the chance to pose for a picture.

“But security staff at Fenwick knew something wasn’t quite right and have contacted our officers who have checked his details and taken decisive action.

“Brown’s SOPO stated that he was not allowed any contact with children unless he had the consent of a parent or guardian who was aware of his convictions.”

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