A CONVICTED sex offender who was found with an unauthorised app on his phone was not aware of its function, he claimed.

Blackburn magistrates heard Neil Hannah believed the app was an anti-virus device and did not know it was capable of deleting his internet browsing history.

Hannah, 57, of Hallam Road, Nelson, pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order by using software which prevents a device from retaining or displaying internet history.

He was made subject to a community order for 18 months with six months alcohol treatment requirement and 27 days rehabilitation activity requirement, fined £60 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Ann Deakin, prosecuting, said when police carried out a compliance visit they found an app called Security Master on the defendant's phone. This had the ability to clear browsing history.

Mark Williams, defending, said his client was aware of the Security Master app on his phone but not of its function.

"He thought it had come with the phone and was anti-virus protection," said Mr Williams.

"The police do not suggest there was anything improper on the phone."

He said Hannah accepted that he should have checked the device.

"He is now looking very carefully at any technology to make sure he doesn't fall foul of the order again," said Mr Williams.