A RYEDALE sex offender involved in an international police investigation has been jailed for 18 months for secretly browsing the internet.

William Alexander Pearson, 22, was given a chance in November 2016 when he was given a suspended prison sentence for downloading a video of a child suffering the worst category of sexual abuse, York Crown Court heard.

But in December 2017, a routine police supervision visit led to the discovery he had been defying a court order by secretly viewing images of mutilation, death, violence and pornography.

Pearson, of East Road, Norton, pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) between August 31, 2017, and December 23, 2017, and was jailed for six months, plus the 12 months suspended in November 2016 for downloading an indecent video of a child. The SHPO remains in force for the rest of his life.

The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, told him the November 2016 offence was an “extremely troubling case” during which Pearson had claimed he was a “paedophile hunter”.

“I am afraid you are not a paedophile hunter but arguably you are coming close to being a paedophile yourself,” said the judge. “I cannot overlook the flagrant breach of this order.”

Duncan Ritchie, for the prosecution, said Pearson was made subject to the SHPO when he was given the suspended prison sentence.

It included a ban on him using internet browsers that didn’t record which websites he visited.

On December 20, 2017, a public protection officer from North Yorkshire Police noticed an iPad at his home had a window open on a site with images of death, mutilation, violence and pornography, and checks revealed he had been using its Safari browser in a “private” setting to hide his online activities.

David Camidge, for Pearson, the court case for the 2016 offence, had been delayed by international police investigations which had not concluded when he was sentenced.

He had made good progress in rehabilitating himself since November 2016 by working with the probation service and had been working on his poor social skills.

He wanted to continue working with probation.