September 2018

Judge slams decision to house ‘high risk’ paedophile near children’s home

A judge said it “beggars belief” that a convicted paedophile was allowed to live near a children’s home – where he targeted his next victim.

Martin Todd lured the vulnerable 15-year-old boy to his flat with the offer of cannabis. While the boy was there, Todd sexually abused him.

On one occasion, Todd tried to rape the boy, who managed to flee.

At Leicester Crown Court in April 2011, Judge Simon Hammond described the then 41-year-old as an “unrepentant sexual predator” as he jailed him indefinitely for public protection, with a minimum of five years behind bars.

The victim’s mother said after the hearing: “I’m pleased with the sentence.

“A serious paedophile is off the streets and behind bars and other children are safe from him.”

Todd was jailed for three years in 1997 for two separate sex attacks on young boys.

In 2006, he was jailed for three-and-a-half years for 10 breaches of a sexual offences prevention order, by befriending four families with children, although no offences were committed.

He was released in March 2009, and went to live at an approved address in the city – near the children’s home.

Todd was found guilty at a trial of two counts of sexually assaulting the 15-year-old and one of attempting to rape him, between October and November, 2009.

Judge orders inquiry

Todd denied the charges, but admitted breaching a sexual offences prevention order by befriending the boy.

At a previous hearing, Judge Hammond ordered an inquiry into why Todd was allowed to live so near to a children’s home.

In response, Leicestershire Police’s then temporary assistant chief constable Geoff Feavyour wrote explaining that the force had taken into account the way Todd had previously offended, which was by befriending the parents of his victims.

The close proximity of the children’s home was not thought relevant to the way he had offended in the past.

Three properties were considered. One was rejected because it was near a park. The address he ended up at had previously housed sex offenders without difficulty.

Judge Hammond said: “The defendant was a convicted paedophile on a sex offender register and was allocated a flat around the corner from a children’s home.

“It beggars belief that was allowed to happen.

“I’ve received an account by the temporary assistant chief constable who explained fully why this happened.

“It illustrates the difficulty in supervising such an offender, who, by the nature of his offending, is very devious.

“The inevitable happened.”

The judge added that “no doubt” Todd had offered the victim cannabis “to soften him up for sexual abuse, which is an aggravating feature”.

Todd was described as posing a “very high risk” of serious harm to children in future.

He will be on a sex offender register for life. He was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, including banning him from unsupervised contact with people under 18.

February 2007

Paedophile fails over jail appeal

A paedophile who “sought out and targeted families” so he could groom their children deserves every day of his sentence, top judges have ruled.

Martin Lionel Todd (39), launched an appeal after he was jailed for three and a half years for breaching an order barring him from associating with youngsters.

He was sentenced in October by a judge at Leicester Crown Court after it was heard how he had manipulated parents’ trust.

Todd, of Cabin Leys, Belton Road, Loughborough, had previous convictions for assaulting boys and was classed as having a “high risk” of committing violent and sex crimes.

A report stated he was remorseless and planned to continue associating with children.

He pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual-offences prevention order and the court heard he had spent time with five youngsters, aged between two and 14.

At the time of the breaches, his day-to-day movements were being monitored by police.

At London’s Criminal Appeal Court on Tuesday, Mr Justice Burton upheld the sentence and said the breaches involved “inappropriate time spent in the close proximity of children”.

Dismissing the appeal, Mr Justice Burton – sitting with Lord Justice Pill and Judge Findlay Baker QC – said the breaches were committed in a “pre-meditated” way and amounted to “grooming.”

October 2006

High-risk paedophile jailed

A “dangerous and remorseless” paedophile defied a court order and befriended families so he could groom children.

Martin Lionel Todd was jailed for three-and-a-half years after a court heard he cleverly manipulated parents’ trust.

A report stated he was remorseless and planned to continue associating with children, Leicester Crown Court was told.

Todd (38) is classed as posing a “high risk” of committing violent and sex crimes.

Judge Philip Head branded him “a very serious threat to the welfare of young children”.

He said: “These offences have all the hallmarks of grooming, which the court order you have breached was designed to prevent.” Todd, of Cabin Leys, Belton Road, Loughborough, pleaded guilty to 10 breaches of a sexual offences prevention order – imposed in April 2005 – which banned him from associating with children.

Ignoring the ban, he befriended and spent time with five youngsters, aged between two and 14, from four families.

Michael Fowler, prosecuting, said Todd had numerous previous convictions.

In 1997, he was jailed for three years for two offences of indecently assaulting boys, aged eight and 14.

Todd was released and twice failed to inform the sex offenders register of changes of address.

His behaviour caused such concern the police applied for the order.

Before the order was made, he made friends with a couple at a car boot sale so he could make contact with their boys, aged nine and 12.

He kissed and cuddled them and gave them presents. They were allowed to stay overnight at his home and he had been planning to take them camping, before his past came to light.

Todd was stopped by police with two boys, aged 10 and 14, in his car. They told officers they were going to stay overnight with Todd – which was prevented.

After the order was made, Todd ignored it and befriended the mother of a four-year-old boy with whom he engaged in play-fighting. He also allowed the boy to use the lavatory in front of him.

He made friends with the mum of a 13-year-old boy, falsely telling her he was a married father of three.

He had the boy stay overnight at his flat, sleeping in the same room.

He associated with a mother of two boys, aged two and four, with whom he played.

He also looked after the four-year-old while the mother went on a visit – which resulted in an allegation of sexual assault that was not substantiated.

Philip Gibbs, defending, said the offences were breaches of the court order by associating with children but not involving actual sexual abuse.

Mr Gibbs said: “He says he wants to change and survive in society without the risk he now poses.” Judge Head said a psychiatric report had accurately predicted that Todd would continue to groom children.

The report stated he had had no benefit from previous treatment, showed no remorse or victim empathy and made no effort to avoid situations presenting an opportunity for sexual activity with children.