April 2019

Registered sex offender shared photo of former friend on Facebook, branding him a ‘nonce’

A registered sex offender shared an image of a former friend on Facebook branding him a “nonce”, which subjected the victim to violent threats.

Regan Charlton, 19, who was once convicted for having sex with an underage girl, took revenge on the man after a dispute, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.

He appeared in court on Friday where he admitted sending an offensive message, and three breaches of his notification requirements as a registered sex offender.

Prosecutor Ansab Shan said the defendant shared an image of the victim on social media, calling him a “nonce” and claiming he was involved in sexual activity with children.

This attracted a number of comments on the post from other Facebook users, including “sick f***ing c***” and “get him killed”, after the image was shared.

Charlton even responded to some of the threats of violence, one of his comments read: “I will even take you for a nice pint after I bury him alive”, Mr Shan said.

The prosecutor said the victim had been left “very scared to go outside” and “quite anxious when he’s in public” as a result.

The defendant also appeared in court to answer three instances of failing to comply with his notification requirements as a sex offender.

These were: Failing to notify of an address where he stayed for 12 hours or more while a child was present, failing to notify police of his Facebook nickname ‘Reggie’ and failing to notify passport details.

The court was told that Charlton received the original conviction after he had sex with an underage girl when he was 15.

Neil Douglas, defending, said that the passport and Facebook nickname breaches were minor offences.

He said that Charlton, of Wembley Way, Stockton, did use his full name on the social networking site but had his nickname displaying underneath.

The solicitor said the passport was out of date and used “purely as a form of identification to prove he was over 18”.

He added that his client’s original offence did not involve very young children.

Concerning the malicious communications offence, Mr Douglas said: “Mr Charlton is used to being the victim in these sort of circumstances because of his history”, claiming that he took unlawful revenge after a dispute.

Magistrates sent the matter to the Crown Court for sentencing.