Ex-soldier slapped with sex offender order after flouting private browsing mode ban

Former Royal Signals sergeant was caught using DuckDuckGo

A disgraced former Territorial Army soldier who made indecent images of children has been given a sexual offences order after being caught breaching a previous one – by enabling private browsing mode on his iPhone and iPad.

Paul Martin McGarrity, 56, of Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, UK, received the sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) at Hammersmith Magistrates' Court on Monday.

The former Royal Signals sergeant was ordered "not to use any device capable of accessing the internet unless it has the capacity to retain and display the history of internet use and he makes such device available on request to a police officer" as part of a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) made by a court martial at Bulford Camp.

At the court martial in October 2011, McGarrity – who was listed as an "ex-sergeant" for the hearing – pleaded guilty to two counts of making an indecent image of a child.

He was given a three-year Service Community Order, 150 hours' community service, and ordered to attend a registered sex offenders' programme for three years. In addition, he was handed a five-year sexual offences prevention order (SOPO).

As reported in September, McGarrity was caught by police using the DuckDuckGo app as well as private browsing mode on both his iPhone and iPad in February.

McGarrity pleaded guilty to breaching the order in August. Monday's hearing saw him subject to an SHPO, the modern equivalent of a SOPO, which will remain in force until 31 October 2021. The conditions of his SHPO are that he is banned from "using any device capable of accessing the internet" unless:

1a) it has the capacity to retain and display the history of internet use, and;

1b) to make any such device available on request for inspection by a police officer;

2) deleting, encrypting, hiding or otherwise interfering with such device;

3) possessing any device capable of storing digital images unless he makes it available on request for inspection by a police officer;

4) taking any photograph of a child under 18 unless authorised expressly or implied by a parent or legal guardian.

McGarrity was also ordered to pay a total of £135 in victim surcharge and prosecution costs. ®




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