A REGISTERED sex offender was found with illegally-held devices at his south Cumbria caravan — just eight days after being spared prison for downloading indecent images of children.

Andrew Peter Richardson, 61, was handed a suspended prison term by a judge at Ipswich Crown Court on January 13.

But within just eight days he was back in hot water after relocating to Cumbria with his life in “chaos”.

Police visited his caravan in Grange-over-Sands. They discovered a tablet — with a Cloud storage facility — which contained a short story he had written about incestuous sexual activity involving an eight-year-old boy.

Police came into possession of three illegally-held internet capable devices — an iPhone found in a car and two laptops. There was deletion and “anonymisation” software fitted, which also marked a breach of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) he received as part of the Suffolk court’s punishment.

In a “suicide” note left for officers, Richardson called the SHPO “nonsense” and police monitoring “illogical”.

“Because, he said, ‘90 per cent of abuse is in the home’,” prosecutor Brendan Burke told Carlisle Crown Court, “and ‘you would be better off walking around the streets with a megaphone, urging children out on to the streets where they would be safer’.”

“You may find evidence that I have returned to my old ways,” Richardson had continued. “I was improving but now I’m going to have to face the sledgehammer justice of the police.”

Richardson admitted five SHPO breaches and was sentenced on Friday, May 13.

The court heard he had been hospitalised in Lancashire following a suicide attempt and that he had been a man of good character before the Suffolk convictions.

“It has had a devastating effect on his life,” said Richard Bennett, defending. “He tells me he lost his job (as a health and safety officer). His wife wants no more to do with him, as indeed do his children.”

Mr Bennett added: “He was significantly depressed at the time of his offending.”

Addressing the judge directly over a video link, Richardson said his life had been in “chaos”. He denied being aware of the SHPO’s existence following his sentencing, said the incest article had been written years ago and stated that some devices had not been used for many months.

He had also had initial contact with the probation service after the January sentencing. “I think I’ve demonstrated I was willing — and am willing — to work with the probation service,” he said.

But Judge Nicholas Barker jailed Richardson for a total of 13 months. He must continue to sign the sex offenders’ register for the next decade.