Northumbria Police had to arrest Santa Claus in front of shocked shoppers in Northumberland Street, in Newcastle City Centre. The man, dressed as Santa, had been taking pictures with children in exchange for money. However, his chosen method of earning a Christmas bonus was illegal since he is a convicted paedophile. 40-year-old Stephen Brown will now be spending Christmas behind bars for ignoring his Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).
Security staff at Fenwick noticed the man dressed as Santa taking pictures with children. They found his behaviour suspicious so they contacted the Northumbria Police. Officers reached the site to discover that the man dressed as Santa was not supposed to be near children. Brown was only allowed to be near a child if he had permission from their parents after informing them that he is a sex offender.
The officers found out that Brown had taken pictures with at least two children without their parents knowing that he is a sex offender. Bedlington Magistrates' Court heard that this was the second time Brown was arrested for ignoring his SOPO. Brown will be spending six weeks behind bars for his repeat offence.
The Daily Mail reported that Brown was first arrested back in 2012.
Using an anonymous account on a social media page, Brown had been trying to blackmail a schoolgirl to perform indecent sexual acts on camera. The frightened girl contacted the police to trace the blackmailer. Police tracked down Brown and arrested him from his home. The police went through the devices that he owned and found multiple indecent images of children.
He was charged with 14 offences, which included inciting a child to perform a sex act. A court handed Brown a five-year jail term as well as his SOPO. Neither the jail term nor the SOPO prevented Brown from coming in contact with children again.
The swift reaction from the security staff at Fenwick allowed the sex offender to be arrested and punished once again.