Monday, January 14, 2008

Child sex offender arrested for failing to register address

A HIGH-risk sex offender has been arrested after failing to register his address with the police.

Blackburn magistrates heard that Darren Ernest Roberts was placed on the Sex Offender Register for life in 1999 when he was jailed for four years.

The offence involved the abduction of a young girl from the street and taking her to his home where he made her remove her clothes.

He carried out an indecent assault on her before making threats to kill the girl if she told anyone.

Since his release police had been so concerned about his high risk status they had successfully applied for a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Roberts, 37, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with notification requirements. He was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and the magistrates said they were not ruling out a custodial sentence.

Isla Chilton, prosecuting, said: "He is considered to be a high risk offender and as a result a Sexual Offences Prevention Order has been made against him because it has more stringent requirements," said Mrs Chilton. "These orders are made for a purpose, so people feel safe and the police know where offenders are. The aim is to minimise the risk of serious offences occurring again and compliance is vital if the purpose if fulfilled."

Phillip Turner, defending, said that while the court would be concerned about the nature of the offence in 1999 that was not what his client was before the court for.

He said the police knew where Roberts was living and there had been no attempt to disappear off the radar.

"There can be serious breaches of the requirements but I hope you will accept this isn't in that category and is almost a technical breach," said Mr Turner. "I appreciate the need for legislation and as far as my client is concerned it is working. There has been no attempt by him to evade the police."

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