Monitored sex offender jailed for internet breach

A high-risk sex offender - while under the intensive scrutiny of Corrections - used a phone to access Tinder, despite being banned from internet use.

Zac Hakes (22) was released from prison in December after a 26-month term for sexual offending against two underage girls and two counts of violence.

Corrections was so worried about his risk of reoffending it applied for an Interim Supervision Order, which essentially has him monitored 24 hours a day.

That was granted by the High Court and in September the department will argue Hakes should be subject to such oversight for 10 years.

In the meantime, the defendant was housed with other sex offenders and subject to a range of conditions designed to reduce his risk to the public.

It took Hakes only a couple of weeks to breach.

First he barricaded himself inside his room and then refused to follow instructions from a staff member at the residence.

He was given a 12-month deferred sentence to serve as a deterrent to further misbehaviour.

It did not work.

Hakes appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after admitting two further breaches of the interim order.

In February, he was given a final warning for accessing the internet via cellphone, something he was specifically barred from doing.

Three months later, someone contacted police complaining the defendant, under the name ''Zac Burley'', had sent them a Facebook friend request.

When quizzed, Hakes admitted using Facebook Messenger and sending multiple friend requests.

''He also admitted downloading and using Tinder,'' court documents said.

Days later, another sex offender living with the defendant complained that on at least five occasions the man had demanded to use his internet-capable phone.

Defence counsel Sarah Saunderson-Warner told the court yesterday that Hakes had ''basically been institutionalised since birth''.

She argued a sentence of community work would get him out of the house and would mean he was able to continue psychological treatment.

However, Crown prosecutor Marie Grills said that therapy could take place in prison.

She noted Hakes' original offending against two young girls had been initiated through contact on the internet.

Judge John Macdonald said he understood the defendant's temptation to break free of the heavy restrictions he was under.

But the offending went directly against the motives behind the Interim Supervision Order.

Hakes was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.

''Prison is designed to remind you if you're tempted to do this again there will be a consequence,'' the judge said.

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