December 2006

Pervert, 66, jailed

A perverted pensioner who showed an indecent photograph of himself to young girls at a bus station has been locked up for public protection.

Raymond Stevenson, 66, who has a record of sex offences dating back more than 40 years, was living at the Elm Bank probation hostel in Cleckheaton when he approached two girls aged 12 and 13 at Bradford Interchange in June last year.

In January 1976 Stevenson was jailed for five years at Maidstone Crown Court for attempted rape and Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that he had been living at the West Yorkshire hostel following his release from another prison sentence imposed at Bournemouth Crown Court in 2002, for two offences of outraging public decency.

The court heard that over 43 years Stevenson had amassed 34 sex offences on his record including 22 incidents of indecent exposure.

Stevenson was arrested at Bradford Interchange after the two girls alerted a member of the public, but the indecent photograph was not found on him.

Prosecutor Jonathan Gibson told the court that during a police search of Stevenson’s room at the hostel a few days later a further three small indecent photographs of himself were discovered.

Stevenson, said to be in poor health and restricted in his mobility, only pleaded guilty to two offences of causing a child to look at a sexual image on the day of his trial last month.

As the Honorary Recorder of Bradford, Judge Stephen Gullick, outlined his previous offending Stevenson claimed that he had been wrongly convicted in the past and he had to be ushered out of the dock while sentence was passed in his absence.

Mr Gibson had told the court that the girls and some other friends had been swimming at the Richard Dunn sports centre and that Stevenson had started to follow them on their way to a bus stop.

It was said that Stevenson had then followed them down to the Interchange on a different bus, but his lawyer David Orbaum said that part of the case was disputed by his client.

Under the sentence of imprisonment for public protection Stevenson will have to serve a minimum of 18 months in jail for the offences, but Judge Gullick stressed that even after that period in custody he would only be released if the Parole Board were satisfied that he did not pose a danger to the public.

He will also have to register as a sex offender for life if he is released and he is also banned from any kind of work with youngsters. “A probation report describes you as having no victim empathy at all,” noted Judge Gullick. “You have not the slightest understanding of the fear and trauma engendered in your young victims.” Although Stevenson disputed having followed the girls Judge Gullick said he was satisfied that he had sought them out and targetted them. “You are in complete denial both in respect of these offences and those you have committed over the last 40 years,” he added.

“The author of the report considers you pose a significant risk to young girls and it is a conclusion which I endorse.” Mr Orbaum had suggested that his client’s age and restricted mobility meant the risk he posed was a diminishing one, but Judge Gullick said despite his physical disabilities he believed Stevenson still remained a significant risk.