September 2016

Sex offender used special software that erased history on computer


A sex offender, who indecently assaulted an underage girl, landed back in court after using specialist software which erases browsing history.

Tony Deadman breached an indefinite order imposed on him 15 years ago for indecently assaulting an underage girl.

He was handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order in 2001 after being convicted of six counts of indecent assault.

However the 47-year-old breached it by using software called CCleaner on his computer which could erase data showing where he had been online.

Police seized two devices – including his computer – in a two-year long investigation, the length of which was slammed by his solicitor.

But at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, Deadman pleaded guilty to breaching the order, imposed on him following his conviction at Leeds Crown Court.

And at Monday’s hearing, he was portrayed as a loner and a computer nut who lives his life in cyber space.

“He is an isolated individual who rarely leaves his house – the computer is his life,” said the probation service.

The computer at the ex-Middlesbrough man’s Beaumont Road home in North Ormesbywas seized in September 2014.

In interview, he made “very full and frank admissions” about using the device, but testing would prove he had downloaded nothing untoward or illegal.

The court heard instead he used it to download YouTube clips, but that he had used the software after the device had become “clogged”.

However the use of it breached the order, eventually making its way to court two years later after what his brief dubbed a “very significant delay”.

“It takes time for police to analyse and to break them down but they found absolutely nothing illegal,” said the solicitor.

He had even invited the police to his home, as due to his love of computers, would often need them to supervise maintenance work.

“He has been very upfront,” said the solicitor, adding he had gone “above and beyond” in assisting the force.

However he said it hadn’t been a two-way process, slamming them for their “blunt” response when asked about the delay.

“They said they had been dealing with more important and more serious matters,” claimed the solicitor.

But the court heard that there had been previous breaches of the order since it was imposed on the “avid” computer user at the turn of the millennium.

And speaking of his sex crimes, probation said: “(Those crimes) have had a major impact on his life – his life is very difficult.”

Deadman, who moved from Middlesbrough to Sunderland 12 weeks ago, was handed a 12 month conditional discharge.

And the sex offender, who lives off £125-a-week in benefits, will have to pay back £105 in costs and charges.