A convicted paedophile who set up a Facebook account in the name of Stuart Hall in breach of his sex offender notification requirements has been jailed for 16 months.

Matthew Stuart Whittaker used the illegal email address and Facebook page just months after he was freed from a four and a half year prison sentence for child sex offences, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

Whittaker, 30, of Garnett Street, Bradford, pleaded guilty to breaching the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 by failing to tell the police of his social media alias between July 1 and 23 last year.

Prosecutor Paul Canfield told the court that Whittaker was jailed on April 27, 2018, after he was found guilty by a jury of eight child sex offences. Four related to the sexual assault of two girls and the other four to contacting three fictional underage girls on the internet. He was snared by Predator Exposure for the latter four offences.

He was ordered to sign on the sex offender register for an indefinite period and that included an order not to change his name or use an alias without informing the police within three days.

On February 21 last year, Whittaker was released from prison and five months’ later he was calling himself Stuart Hall on Facebook without notifying the police.

He told his probation officer that a woman had sent him a naked picture of herself to the account and the police were alerted.

Mr Canfield said the woman Whittaker had been in social media contact with was a vulnerable adult.

He initially denied the breach saying his account must have been hacked.

He had since been recalled to prison on licence until May next year and he was sentenced on a video link to HMP Leeds.

Whittaker’s barrister, Felicity Hemlin, said he had not committed any new sexual offences.

He volunteered to his probation officer about the Stuart Hall Facebook page and the woman sending the naked photo. He had then deleted the photo and nothing illegal was found on his phone.

Whittaker had a number of serious health problems, including being treated for depression, Miss Hemlin said.

He was finding it difficult in custody especially during the Covid pandemic.

Judge Jonathan Rose said he suspected that Whittaker had taken on the new character of Stuart Hall so he could offend in a similar way to that previously.

“This was a deliberate enterprise and there’s nothing to suggest that it wasn’t for unlawful sexual activity,” he said.