Home Social networking Convicted sex offender banned from social media poses as ’56-year-old lesbian named Carol’

Convicted sex offender banned from social media poses as ’56-year-old lesbian named Carol’

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A convicted sex offender posed online as a ’56-year-old lesbian’ to prevent police from discovering social media accounts he was not supposed to have. Geraint ap Dewi Rowlands continued to search for “disturbing” content centered on young girls in violation of a previous court order.

Rowlands, 64, of Cleveland Avenue in Tywyn, Gwynedd appeared before a judge at Caernarfon Crown Court today. He was charged with six violations of a sexual abuse prevention order.

He had been ordered after being convicted in December 2017 of possession of extreme and prohibited pornographic images. As part of the 10-year order, Rowlands was banned from using any social media websites or apps without telling the police.

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He completed the terms of his two-year suspended sentence – including unpaid work – without issue, the court heard. However, that quickly changed as the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

Prosecutor Mr Dafydd Roberts told the court how Rowlands resumed accessing websites he had been banned from as early as March 2020. His online records show he continued to access apps and sites Web until June 2021.

Last summer, a North Wales police officer seized a mobile phone and laptop from Rowlands’ home address in Gwynedd. The review revealed that he accessed various apps, using a fake identity of “Carol Jones” on one.

The court heard how the ‘Carol’ character created an account on Flickr – an image-sharing website. She was portrayed as a “56-year-old lesbian,” Mr Roberts said.

Conversations on some of the other apps show that Rowlands had spoken with what were believed to be other sex offenders with similar interests to him. A message mentioned that “young girls and dogs” were “top of his list of pleasures”.

The father-of-two’s internet history was scanned with various ‘disturbing’ search terms. One included a website that shared “erotic stories” where he looked for material on young girls.

Mr Roberts said when arrested Rowlands admitted to creating the accounts and using them, but stood firm in denying any sexual interest in the children. He also let slip that he had “six or seven” email addresses that the police were unaware of.

In defence, Mr Simon Rodgers, said he accepted that the content his client was looking for online was “deeply concerning”. He added that Rowlands had made no attempt to contact children or upload content.

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Mr Rodgers said it was not uncommon in cases like these for defendants to try to “hide” these “warped” desires from the authorities. A “limited” prison sentence may not have as many benefits as a longer, community-based sentence, where these can be dealt with by the probation service, he added,

Judge Timothy Petts agreed that the defense should make these arguments, but disagreed strongly. He said there was “no realistic prospect of rehabilitation” for these “disturbing” habits.

Jailing Rowlands for 14 months, he said: “Your warped mindset persists and you see yourself as a passive bystander when others discuss child sexual abuse. You are clearly there for perverse sexual gratification.” There’s remorse here, but the probation service seems to be of the opinion that it’s just to avoid prison. It won’t work, I’m afraid.”

An order was also issued by the judge for the devices recovered by the police to be destroyed. The order for the prevention of sexual abuse continues under the same conditions as before.

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