A man classed as a high-risk sex offender has been given a two-year detention order after messaging a teenage boy online.

Joe Matthews, 20, of Colbourne Street, appeared at Swindon Crown Court on July 1 charged with breaching a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) and was ordered to serve ten months in a young offenders' institution.

The offences came to light when the Swindon man was visited at his home by a police officer working for the Management of Sexual/Violent Offenders (MOSOVO) team at Wiltshire Police.

This was because he was classed as a high-risk registered sex offender, who had a previous conviction for possession of indecent images of children.

Under the terms of his SHPO his electronic devices were routinely checked by police.

On April 23, Matthews' Instagram account was checked on his mobile phone and officers discovered inappropriate conversations with a 15-year-old boy, which included discussions of child sexual abuse.

This case was jointly investigated by Wiltshire Police’s MOSOVO team and its digital investigations and intelligence unit.

Inspector Downing from the offender management team said: “Regular visitations and checking digital devices is a key part of the work that we do to monitor high-risk sex offenders to ensure we are keeping the public safe.

“More and more of our work involves checking computers, tablets, mobile phones, and we know that offenders are becoming more sophisticated in trying to cover their tracks, so the assistance of our DIIU and new sophisticated equipment is providing to be invaluable.”

Detective inspector Gemma Vinton, from DIIU, said: “This investigation is an excellent example of how our unit can assist other teams across the police force, providing specialist knowledge and skills for cases involving internet or cyber-related crime.

“So much of crime today has some link to cybercrime, and I’m pleased that our team could assist with this case – not only putting a high-risk offender behind bars, but also protecting potential victims.”