May 2017

York man on sex offenders’ register for overseas offending

A sex offender must give North Yorkshire Police his passport details and tell them where he lives for four and a half years because he broke the law in Finland.

Philip Whitfield, 51, was convicted of sharing indecent images of children at a Finnish district court in December 2014 and was jailed for five months, Emma Richards, for the police, told York magistrates.

Had the court been an English court, he would automatically have been put on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

Whitfield, of Broadstone Way, Rawcliffe, did not oppose the making of either order.

The first order means that Whitfield will have to provide the police with the same information as anyone on the sex offenders’ register, including his main address, any other place where he lives, any names he uses, and his passport and bank details. It lasts until December 2021, seven years after his conviction.

The second order will enable police to monitor his activities on the internet, because he will have to allow them to inspect his internet devices and see which websites he has been accessing. He will also be forbidden to install software designed to hide his internet activities or wipe his computer records.

Magistrates made the second order, as the police requested, for five years until May 2022.

Ms Richards said the police wanted both orders because Whitfield could apply to a court to get the sexual harm prevention order lifted. If he succeeded, then police would have no means of monitoring his activities or knowing where he was if there was no sexual notification order in place.

She said the equivalent English offence to the Finnish offence would be distributing indecent images of children.

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