A CONVICTED Kendal sex offender told police an illegally-held mobile phone had been 'planted' within a car in which he was living.

Carlisle Crown Court heard Carlton Robert Taylor, 65, was made subject to the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) in 2017 as he was sentenced for making indecent images of children. This offending emerged after Taylor was detained at Canada’s Calgary airport with 50 devices including two laptops on which illegal pictures were found.

The SHPO banned Taylor from accessing the internet on any device unless it had been flagged up to police and fitted with specialist usage monitoring software.

But in 2021 he was brought back to court for flouting the SHPO and also sex offender notification requirements. Taylor had unlawfully searched the internet using “incognito” mode — despite monitoring software being fitted — and failed to declare a vast number of devices which were found at his address.

A suspended prison sentence was imposed and the indefinite SHPO continued to run.

But Taylor breached it again on April 7 this year. An off-duty police officer reported seeing his car, which was later found by a colleague at Scout Scar.

Taylor was sat in the driver’s seat with a portable DVD player next to him and four identical legally-held mobile phones. “The officer noted that the defendant seemed nervous," said prosecutor Andrew Evans, “and when the defendant told him he was a registered sex offender the officer used his radio to check his SHPO conditions.”

A search of Taylor’s car revealed a Samsung Galaxy S4 smart phone he was not permitted to possess. “The defendant informed the officer that it did not belong to him,” said Mr Evans, who told how Taylor was later interviewed. “He stated that a nefarious third party had planted the phone in his car without his knowledge.”

However, Taylor, previously of Romney Road, Kendal, and now of no fixed address, later admitted breaching the SHPO. The court heard his past convictions included offences of indecently assaulting one female aged under 14 and another aged over 16 for which he was sentenced in 1991.

Charles Brown, defending, spoke of homeless Taylor’s distinctive thought processes, and an autistic background with “self-diagnosis” but no formal finding.

Time in custody on remand since April had been “difficult” for Taylor, and Mr Brown said: “He spends all his time, except his meals, in his cell because he can’t deal with meeting people he has never met.”

The judge, Recorder Mark Ainsworth, observed that Taylor would have to rebuild his life when released from prison but also remember that the SHPO would continue to run.

Mr Brown replied: “Obviously on release he will have assistance from the probation service in finding a home. Living in a car is hardly the recipe for staying out of trouble.”

Recorder Ainsworth accepted Taylor had never been subject to an immediate custodial punishment before, but jailed him for 10 months. “It is my public duty to impose a sentence of imprisonment upon you,” said the judge.