Over the weekend, as shoppers took to the streets, a man stood outside Fenwick dressed as Santa, offering pictures for a donation.
“There has been a fantastic atmosphere in the city in the lead up to Christmas and thousands of people were in the area doing their shopping," Chief Inspector Steve Wykes, of Northumbria Police said in a statement. "Many people would have walked by Brown and thought that it was perfectly normal for him to be offering people the chance to pose for a picture."
Security employees at Fenwick though, thought something was off so they contacted the neighborhood patrol officers who then made contact with the Santa.
Once the officers made contact, they learned that the man was 40 year old Stephen Brown who is a convicted sex offender with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO). That order establishes that Brown is to have no contact with any minor unless it is with the parent or guardian's permission after they have been informed of his prior convictions.
Northumberland police established that he had taken pictures with at least two children without informing their parents about his convictions and so, arrested him on the spot.
Monday, December 2nd, Brown appeared before Bedlington Magistrates' Court where he was ordered to spend six weeks behind bars for this, his second violation of his SOPO since being released after serving a five year sentence in 2017.