July 2017

Former nurse jailed for breaching sexual harm order 

A mental health nurse who was struck off for possessing indecent images of children and animals has been jailed after breaching his court order for a third time.

Nicholas Howard, of Wray Crescent, Leyland, flouted his sexual offence prevention order just six weeks after being given a suspended jail sentence for his second breach.

Judge Justice William Davis activated the 55-year-old’s suspended term following a hearing before Preston Crown Court, telling him “immediate custody” was necessary.

Howard, who was previously employed as a registered mental health nurse by Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust in Warrington, was sacked in 2014 after admitting making and possessing indecent images of a child, and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Alongside a sexual harm prevention order he was sentenced to a three year community order and ordered to attend an internet sex offender’s treatment programme.

He was also given a sexual offences prevention order for 10 years and a five year sex offenders notice.

But Preston Crown Court was told he had breached this order. On April 28 he failed to give the police access to two mobile phones – as specified in his order.

Just six weeks earlier he had been in court after admitting breaching the same order by owning a tablet that was found to have wiper software that deleted his internet browsing history.

He was given three months suspended for 18 months on that occasion.

Before this offence, he was again convicted – this time over gaining work in a shop where he came into contact with young people, which was banned by the order’s terms.

Back in 2014, Howard was one of 14 men charged with crimes relating to indecent images as a result of Operation Toledo – a Lancashire Police investigation into the sexual exploitation of children.

He was convicted of making and possessing indecent photographs of a child, and possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a live animal.

March 2017

Disgraced ex nurse breaches sexual harm order over wiper software

A mental health nurse who was struck off over a stash of indecent images of children and animals has been back before a court for breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Nicholas Howard, of Wray Crescent, Leyland, was employed as a registered mental health nurse by Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust in Warrington but was sacked in 2014 after admitting making and possessing indecent images, and possessing an extreme pornographic image.

Alongside a sexual harm prevention order he was sentenced to a three year community order and ordered to attend an internet sex offender’s treatment programme.

The 55-year-old was also given a sexual offences prevention order for 10 years and a five year sex offenders notification requirement.

But Preston Crown Court was told he admitted breaching the order by having a tablet with wiper software designed to delete his internet browsing history.

The prosecutor, Frances McEntee said: “On this occasion police attend as they were charged to do in regards to keeping track of him. “He had a tablet device and a phone.

The officers asked if they could inspect the same. They did so but couldn’t find any history on the device. “When the tablet was examined by the experts it was found to have a software designed to wipe search histories and the like.

He added: E“In interview he suggested he bought it recently, it may have already been on and may have self activated. “Really that explanation was not going to be accepted by the crown.

“In respect of the original SOPO the terms were in relation to using any device and deleting such history.”

It is his second breach of the order, the first related to him working in a shop where he came into contact with young people. He was given three months suspended for 18 months.

Howard was one of 14 men charged with crimes relating to indecent images following Operation Toledo – a Lancashire Police probe into the sexual exploitation of children.

September 2015

Nurse caught with child abuse images banned from profession

A nurse caught with a sickening stash of child abuse images has been kicked out of the profession.

Nicholas Howard was one of a group of 14 men hauled into court last year following a police probe into the sexual exploitation of children.

Howard, who was not part of an organised gang, was caught with the illegal photos on his home computer while employed by the Warrington Foundation Trust.

The nurse pleaded guilty to nine charges of making indecent images of children, three counts of possessing indecent images of children and a further charge of possessing extreme pornography.

He was sentenced to a three year community order and ordered to take part in an Internet Sex Offenders’ Treatment program at Preston Crown Court on 25 November last year.

Howard’s case has now been heard before a tribunal for the Nursing and Midwifery Council to determine his suitability to remain in the profession.

Panel chair Joy Julien said: ‘The panel took into account that Mr Howard pleaded guilty to the criminal charges.

‘However since his conviction this panel has not been provided with any evidence of remorse of reflection.

‘Mr Howard has not provided any evidence that he understands the impact of accessing child pornography on the internet could have had on the continuing abuse of children.

‘Nor did he understand the impact his actions have had on the reputation of the nursing profession.

‘The panel determined the charges are very serious.

‘In the panel’s view, for Mr Howard over a period of a year to make and possess images and videos which depict the abuse of children has undoubtedly brought the nursing profession into disrepute.’

Howard, who did not attend the one-day tribunal and did not send a representative on his behalf, was struck off the register.

Ms Julien said: ‘His actions were indicative of a deep-seated attitudinal problem and Mr Howard had demonstrated little if any insight.

‘The panel therefore concluded that Mr Howard’s actions are fundamentally incompatible with his name remaining on the register.’

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