June 2017

Sex offender lied in order to get a place to live in Colchester

A SEX offender who moved to Colchester after grooming a child lied about his past to get housing.

Mark Taylor committed six offences in six weeks misleading police, a charity and the owner of a Colchester B&B.

The 60-year-old, who was already subject to a suspended sentence, admitted seven further offences and received another suspended sentence.

Judge Emma Peters said: “If I thought this was offending to mislead the police to put them off the scene, to give you access to commit further sexual offences I would have no hesitation in sending you to prison.

“This was deliberate but I think your real problem is you just wanted somewhere to live.”

In January 2016 Taylor was jailed for 12 months at Woolwich Crown Court for grooming a child.

The sentence was suspended for two years and he moved to Colchester.

He was required to keep police informed of where he was living and what he was doing after being put on the sex offenders’ register for a decade.

On March 19 he moved into a B&B on High Street and failed to notify police where he was staying.

On March 24 he made off without payment owing the B&B £321 and leaving property behind.

Among his belongings was a new bank card which had not been registered with police.

On April 21 Taylor, of no fixed abode, moved into the Emmaus charity home on Magdalen Street, next to the YMCA.

He committed fraud by false representation when completing the form by denying he was a convicted sex offender.

On April 28 he failed to notify police where he was staying and then, when visiting Colchester police station, lied about where he was staying.

Taylor admitted the six new offences and breaching the suspended sentence.

The prosecution fully accepted the breaches were not committed in order for him to be able to commit further sexual offences.

Caroline Woodley, mitigating, told the court Taylor had become homeless off and on after getting divorced and suffering from depression in the late 1980s.

She told the court he had prostrate cancer eight times as well as mental health issues.

She said: “He was a driver for the Army but was discharged medically.”

Ms Woodley added his aim was to get accommodation not to offend.

Judge Peters, sentencing, said: “You were convicted of a serious offence, a sexual offence, all of this is to your great shame.

“The police need to know where you are so they can exercise their duty to protect children, in your case.”

She marked the breach of the original suspended sentence with a fine of £100.

And she imposed a second suspended sentence.

She said: “Three of your offences are about you trying to get a roof over your head, a bed to lie in, some food to eat.”

Taylor was jailed for ten months in total suspended for two years for the six new offences.

He will have to complete 140 hours of unpaid work, pay back the B&B and complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He still has nowhere to live.

Judge Peters said: “I am giving you a chance. Breach the sentence and you are going to come back before me.”