Grantham court: Sex offender used alias on social site

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A convicted sex offender who used an alias on social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, has been sentenced to a three year community order.

Stephen Luca James, aged 26, of Highcliffe Road, Grantham, had previously pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to comply with the notification requirements of the sex offenders’ register, dating back to May 5, 2010.

Although James had notified police that he had changed his name by deed poll from Stephen James Curran, he did not inform them that he was using the name Luca James on Facebook and Twitter, and the name Luca James Sparks on Flickr.

Chris Pye-Smith, defending, said that his client was not using the social media accounts for any sexual purposes at all, with his Flickr consisting mostly of scenic photos and his Twitter mainly discussions on football.

Mr Pye-Smith also highlighted that James’ profile photo was of himself, adding: “That is not somebody trying to mislead or hide what they are doing.”

The court heard that in August 2012 police had seized and kept for a year the computers belonging to the defendant and his family.

Magistrates were also informed that James is now in employment and has a girlfriend.

Mr Pye-Smith concluded: “He has a lot to lose if he went into custody.”

James was sentenced to a three year community order supervised by the probation service, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a £60 victim surcharge.