Sex offender banned from using dating sites caught using app for gay men

Mark Thornton was jailed for more than two years for breaching his sexual harm prevention order


Words: Steve Brown

A sex offender who is banned from using dating sites has been jailed for more than two years after using an app for gay men.

Back in 2016, Mark Thornton was caught by paedophile hunters as he was trying to meet children for sex and was jailed for two years and banned from using any social media or dating sites.

But not long after being out of prison, police caught him using a gay dating app,, on his phone.

Prosecutor Mark Giuliani told the court: "They were taken to his room and they saw him on the bed using a phone.

"He was accessing, an online dating site for gay men.

"It's an adult site but it was a breach of his sexual harm prevention order."

Giuliani continued: "He is a registered sex offender and classed as high risk.

"The relevant condition from the sexual harm prevention order is that he is not to access chat rooms, social networking or instant messaging services, except text messages."

The court heard that he had already breached the order in 2017 and last year.

Despite the app being for adults, he was in breach of his sexual harm prevention order and according to the Chronicle Live, the 54 year old has been jailed for 28 months at Newcastle Crown Court.

Thornton was told the order will continue after he has served his latest sentence and he will be on the sex offenders register for ten years.

Judge Sarah Mallett said: "He was caught red-handed. This is a serious and persistent breach.

"You committed this offence immediately after your release from the sentence for the last breach, while on post sentence supervision."