May 2017

Derby paedophile given ‘last chance’ to avoid jail after flying to Spain without telling police

A sex offender from Derby, who breached an order by jetting off to Spain without telling the police, has been given a final chance to avoid prison.

Lelo Roberts took the trip to Alicante “to get his head straight” after losing his job and being threatened with eviction, Derby Crown Court was told.

But, under the terms of a sexual harm prevention order, imposed in July 2014, he must notify Derbyshire police if he is planning to leave the country.

And the court heard how this was the second time he had breached his order, although the details of the first offence were not revealed.

Handing Roberts a six-month jail terms, suspended for a year, Recorder Andrew Easteal said: “Your behaviour, in twice breaching your order has put you right on the precipice of going to prison. These requirements are there for a reason and you must take them seriously.

“What I am going to do is this. I am going to give you the opportunity one final time, one last chance [to avoid jail]. Make sure you take it.”

Derby Crown Court, sitting at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, heard that Roberts, of Flint Street, was handed the sexual harm prevention order in July 2014 for possessing indecent images of children.

Eddy Leonard, prosecuting, said: “Police were made aware that the defendant had left the country. There is some dispute as to whether he was away for two weeks or three weeks but he had gone to Alicante and returned to the UK on February 13.

“By doing so, he committed this offence because he was required to notify the police if he intended to leave the UK.”

Miss Leonard said the first breach took place in July last year and Roberts, 32, was handed a conditional discharge for that offence.

She said that, by committing the latest offence, he was in breach of that and Roberts pleaded guilty to both breach charges.

Samina Rashid, for Roberts, said her client had formerly worked in a call centre but had bouts of depression when he was out of work.

She said: “At the time of the offence he had lost his job and his landlord had served him with an eviction notice. His emotions had spiralled out of control and he said he left the country to ‘get his head straight’. But he accepts he failed to notify the police he was planning to leave the country,”

Along with the suspended jail term, Recorder Easteal ordered Roberts to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.