Paedophile jailed after flying to U.S. for a storm chasing holiday

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Stephen Harris lied on a visa form and flew to the U.S. for a storm chasing holiday
Stephen Harris lied on a visa form and flew to the U.S. for a storm chasing holiday
Stephen Harris lied on a visa form and flew to the U.S. for a storm chasing holiday
Stephen Harris lied on a visa form and flew to the U.S. for a storm chasing holiday

A convicted paedophile has been jailed after lying to get an American visa – so he could go on a storm chasing holiday.

Stephen Harris, 42, is on the sex offender’s register and is not permitted to leave the country without permission.

But he lied on a visa application form and travelled to the U.S. for a holiday indulging his hobby of chasing storms.

A court heard he was previously convicted of downloading 1,607 internet images of child porn and filming children from his parents’ house.

Harris, of Westward Ho!, Devon, was later released from jail but was ordered to sign on to the sex offenders register for ten years.

But he lied on a visa application for a two week holiday in May this year, North Devon Magistrates Court heard.

Prosecutor Ben Winzer said: “This was a deliberate failure to comply which involved a good deal of planning.

“He also lied about his convictions to gain access to another country which is an aggravating feature.”

Debbie Bakehouse, for the defence, said: “He is an extreme weather enthusiast.

“He came upon the holiday of a lifetime, two weeks storm chasing in America, and couldn’t resist it.

“He has a great passion for storm chasing and made a stupid decision which he regrets very much.”

Presiding Magistrate Michael Buckley jailed him for eight weeks.

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