May 2009

Jail for paedophile spotted in the Echo

A PAEDOPHILE who was tracked down by police after posing for a photograph in the Daily Echo was yesterday jailed for three years and 84 days.

Darren Fletcher was caught on camera thanking Christchurch officers who helped his pregnant girlfriend give birth to a girl who was not his biological child in the back of a car last summer.

The incriminating picture helped detectives more than 200 miles away to find Fletcher, who was on his way to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital when his partner went into labour and they were forced to take a detour to Christchurch police station.

A civil detention officer dashed out and, with the help of three police constables, delivered the baby in the back of the vehicle.

Fletcher, 41, was captured on film after returning to the Barrack Road station to thank all those who had helped with the birth.

Dorset Police officer later confirmed that they had no idea that Fletcher was wanted by their colleagues in Lancashire when they told the media about the baby’s birth.

Fletcher, who was living in Christchurch at the time, was arrested by Lancashire detectives after they spotted the picture.

He later admitted 12 sex offences when he appeared at Preston Crown Court; seven sexual assaults, four charges of sexual activity with a child and a single count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The court heard how the offences had been committed against four young girls between March 2005 and August last year.

Some were carried out in Preston where Fletcher lived.