A registered sex offender who hid two illegally-held USB devices in a piece of Lego in a bid to evade police detection is to be sentenced by a judge.
Peter James Challands, 46, asked to be addressed by the first name Jasmine when appearing at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court earlier today.
Challands, of the city’s Warwick Road, admitted breaching a sexual harm prevention order which had been imposed at the crown court in September 2020, for possessing illegal images of children.
Pamela Fee, prosecuting, told magistrates that under the strict terms of this five-year order, Challands was banned from having any devices capable of storing images which had not been disclosed to police.
But when officers went to the defendant’s parents’ address on March 16, they examined a computer and found two USB devices had been used over a period of several months.
Challands denied being in possession of any such devices, but an officer conducted a search and found two of them concealed within a Lego wheel in a box. Challands gave an account for breaching the order, and apologised. Thousands of images were contained on the devices, and enquiries were continuing to ascertain the content.
Giving mitigation in court today, lawyer Jeff Smith said Challands “did not want to be a man”, and had sought guidance on transitioning into the body of a woman.
Challands understood this procedure would take 10 to 12 years. At present, Challands was just tortured, said Mr Smith, regarded by no-one and respected by no-one.
“She doesn’t know who she is, what she is, where she is going, where she belongs,” the lawyer added.
A probation officer said Challands had been making some positive progress with the requirement of a community order imposed in 2020.
Magistrates concluded their sentencing powers for the breach were insufficient. Challands’ case was committed to the crown court for a sentencing hearing on April 12. In the meantime, Challands was remanded in custody.