A convicted child rapist who is banned from owning internet devices unless approved threatened to kill herself when one was found at her home.
Alex Smith, who is transitioning from male to female and is formally known as Matthew Burren, was arrested after officers carried out an unannounced visit to her home in Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon, yesterday (1 March).
On arrival, she was asked whether she had any internet-capable devices they were not aware of. She told officers she did not, however, when they logged onto the router they found an unknown Samsung mobile phone connected to it.
Smith denied any knowledge of the device, but when challenged she indicated towards a red coat in the room. The Samsung mobile phone was subsequently found beneath it.
She then picked up a pair of scissors, walked towards the officer and said “I’m going to kill myself”. She was arrested and taken to Gablecross Police Station where she was charged and remanded in custody overnight.
At Swindon Magistrates’ Court today, the 28-year-old admitted breaching the terms of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) – which prevents her from owning internet-enabled devices without seeking permission from probation service officers prior – by failing to declare the device for inspection.
Taking into account four previous breaches of the SHPO and that the sentencing starting point for the offence is 12 months in custody, district judge Joanna Dickens adjourned the case so the defendant can talk through a report with the probation service.
Bailing the defendant without conditions, she said: “Obviously people have concerns about you, but I’m going to take a chance”.
Adding: “It’s really important that you cooperate with probation… that’s really going to help the court make the best decision on the sentence.”
Smith is next due to appear before Swindon Crown Court on 12 April.