October 2017: Now living in Tywyn
Dangerous Sidmouth sex offender jailed for trying to lure 10-year-old into bushes
A dangerous sex offender has been jailed for chasing after a ten-year-old girl at a seaside resort and trying to lure her into bushes.
Robert Ivey was subject to a strict order which prevented him approaching any women or girls but broke it by talking to the child as she played next to a river in the centre of Sidmouth.
The victim was on a family day out and was rescued by her 16-year-old sister who helped police track down Ivey after he fled to a cemetery.
Ivey was branded as a potential danger to the public by a judge as he was jailed for breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order at Exeter Crown Court.
He had told a probation officer his plan to expose himself to the girl was a ‘life affirming gesture’ because her reaction might make him ‘re-evaluate his life’.
Ivey, aged 30, of Trafalgar Terrace, Branscombe, admitted breaching a SOPO and was jailed for 16 months by Judge Erik Salomonsen at Exeter Crown Court.
He was also made subject of a more stringent SOPO which bans him from all unsupervised contact with anyone under 18.
The judge told him:”The probation report writer describes you as manipulative and says your attitude towards this offence is extremely worrying and indicates a high risk of committing other offences.
“Your previous offence of exposure was against a mature woman. This was towards a ten-year-old girl. Who knows what would have happened if she had not run away.
“One of the issues the court has to address is risk and in my judgment, based on your conduct and your willingness to breach orders which are made to protect the public, you must go to prison.”
Mr Adrian Chaplin, prosecuting, said Ivey was made subject to a SOPO by Exeter magistrates in 2010 for exposing himself to a 45-year-old woman walking her dog in a park in Sidmouth.
The order prevented him approaching female strangers, following or harassing women, or making intimidating or sexual gestures.
In February he was in Sid Park Road, Sidmouth, when he approached the girl, who had crossed a ford in the river and was playing on the other side from her family.
He went up to her while groping the front of his trousers and asked her to ‘stand guard’ while he urinated in bushes. He asked her to go with him into the bushes but she was frightened and ran away, with him following for a short while.
The girl’s older sister came to her rescue and the family called the police after seeing Ivey move away to the nearby cemetery. His description was recognised and he was arrested shortly afterwards in Coburg Road, Sidmouth.
The victim told police:”I knew something was not right. He was begging me to go into the bushes with him.”
Mr Chaplin said a passage in the pre sentence report raised cause for concern because Ivey told the interviewing probation officer he ‘decided it would be a life affirming gesture to expose himself to a ten-year-old girl because her reaction would force him to re-evaluate his life’.
Mr Lee Bremridge, defending, said the public would be better protected by Ivey staying out of prison and being sent on a sex offenders’ course than on being locked up and coming out without his issues being addressed.
He blamed the comments which Ivey made in the probation interview on him being uncomfortable about discussing such personal matters.
He said:”This is a man who reached his late 20s without any problems and started acting as he did as a result of extreme depression and anxiety following the break down of a long term relationship.”