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Former minister back in court for breaching sex offence order

22:18 06 June 2014

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

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Former Methodist minister Philip Hilstrop, who was convicted of possessing more than 1,000 indecent images, was back in court for breaching his sexual offences prevention order by having a mobile phone with a camera.

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Hilstrop, 63, of Queens Road, Norwich, admitted one count of breaching the order between January 2012 and August 2013, and another breach between January 2012 and May 2013, by having mobile phones capable of taking images.

Norwich Crown Court heard in 2011, he was given a four month suspended sentence for possessing more than 1,000 indecent images.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register and made subject to a sexual offences prevention order, under which he must not have a mobile phone with a camera outside his address.

Richard Kelly, prosecuting, said Hilstrop was found during a routine check by police to have taken photos on his mobile phone camera, while outside his address.

Michael Clare, for Hilstrop, said he had breached his order by using the phone to take pictures on holiday in Spain, while watching an Easter procession. “That’s something he did carelessly and thoughtlessly, rather than in a sinister way,” he said.

Judge Stephen Holt accepted that it was difficult to get a phone, which did not have a camera, but said that Hilstrop must make sure he complies with his order.

He ordered Hilstrop to attend a three-year Thames Valley sex offenders treatment as part of a community order.

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