A SEXUAL predator is back behind bars after flouting a court order just days after being released from prison.

Gerard Philip Wilson, 64, was given a six-year jail term in 2017 for a raft of online child sex crimes which emerged after he contacted an undercover police officer he believed was a youngster.

When sentenced by a judge, Wilson - who also admitted making and distributing indecent images of children - was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and made subject to the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

This banned him from having any internet-capable electronic device not fitted with police-approved monitoring software.

But on Friday, just a week after his release from prison on licence and having been reminded of the SHPO requirements, Wilson, formerly of Ulverston, was back in hot water.

Police offender managers went to his bail hostel in Carlisle. “They were made aware by staff the defendant had gone out on Thursday and purchased a laptop computer from Currys,” said prosecutor Tom Snape.

Officers found the laptop out of a box and plugged in, and also a large flat-screen Smart television, both capable of online connection but neither fitted with monitoring software.

Wilson told officers: “I thought I had done everything by the book.”

When he appeared at North and West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court, Wilson admitted two SHPO breaches. He reported telling a probation officer about his purchases, and handing them to hostel staff with a view to software being fitted. But he asked for them back 20 minutes before police arrived.

“He states he didn’t fully understand how much that would impact on him; that he would potentially end up in this situation this morning,” said Sara Budniak, in mitigation. “He understands he is looking, potentially, at another custodial sentence.”

Magistrates sent the case to the city’s crown court, where Wilson, previously of Urswick Road, Ulverston, is due to be sentenced by a judge next month. In the meantime he was remanded in custody.

After he was sentenced in 2017, a Cumbria police detective said: “Wilson is a predator who used online chatrooms and social media apps to engage, groom and sexually assault children.”