'Dangerous' sex predator jailed after communicating with children

Colchester sex offender Joe McCallum has been jailed for five years

Colchester sex offender Joe McCallum has been jailed for five years - Credit: Essex Police

A registered sex offender who kept a mobile phone used to communicate with children hidden from police has been jailed for five years.

Joe McCallum, 32, was reported to police after a vulnerable teenage girl was seen getting into his car in March 2020 – just two months after police applied for a further Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to be enforced by the court.

He had been due to be taken off the Sex Offenders Register, but the further SHPO meant he was restricted from contacting girls under 18, using social media and accessing internet-enabled devices.

A search of his car found a mobile phone he had attempted to hide from his monitoring officers. He later admitted to be engaging in conversation with a girl under 18, having a smart phone and using social media and dating apps.

He was later charged with four counts of breaching an interim sexual harm prevention order and remanded in custody.

Following analysis of his mobile phones, police found he had been engaging in sexual communication with other teenage girls and was breaching his SHPO using various aliases.

McCallum, of Destination Drive, Colchester – who has remained in prison – admitted all the charges and was sentenced to five years in prison by the judge at Chelmsford Crown Court on March 11.

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The investigation was carried out by Essex Police's Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders team (MOSOVO).

The team of specialist officers work to manage the risk serious sexual and violent offenders pose to the community, and carry out proactive checks to ensure offenders do not pose a risk to the public after release from prison.

Detective inspector Nathan Hutchinson, who manages the MOSOVO team in the north of the county, said: “Joe McCallum is a dangerous individual who poses a very real risk to children.

“He will now spend the foreseeable future behind bars where he cannot pose a threat.

“My team will continue to monitor and carry out regular, proactive checks on dangerous offenders to ensure they are abiding by the terms of their release and the court orders they are subject to.”

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