October 2017

Psychopathic sex criminal jailed for breaching order after texting woman

A devious sex offender who swapped numbers with a woman and sent text messages from a phone he hid from police is back behind bars

Diagnosed psychopath Paul Richards, 51, was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) by Teesside magistrates in 2012

The order forbids him from having or entering into any friendship or physical relationship with any female without notifying the police.

It also prohibits him using any device capable of accessing the internet.

Richards, who has an antisocial and narcissistic personality disorder, has a long history of offences of kidnapping, dishonesty, harassment, drugs possession and 13 sex crimes.

Teesside Crown Court heard that when police visited Richards’ Stockton home in March this year for a review, he produced a mobile phone for examination.

Rachael Masters, prosecuting, said: “There were a number of calls made to an individual and when asked who the person was, the defendant said it was someone from the council’s housing department.”

However, further inquiries revealed the phone number belonged to a woman Richards had met in the town centre and had exchanged numbers with.

The defendant was arrested and officers went on to find another mobile phone hidden in a wardrobe, along with set up documents and a receipt for the device.

“During interview he accepted that he met the woman but stated he did not discuss the meeting with police as he felt she was a friend and did not make a pass at her,” Miss Masters told the court.

“He accepted that there had been some flirting between them but maintained he had no further contact with her.”

The court heard Richards, who pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a SOPO, has been subject to close police monitoring since his first sex conviction in 1983.

His list of crimes includes convictions for failing to comply with sex offender register notification requirements.

Nicci Horton, defending, said her client was well aware he did not produce his phone but he had actually told his mother about it. Nothing suspicious was ever found on the device.

“He does have a lengthy history of offending and is deemed as high risk. However, he has had the ability over the past few years to confront and face what he has previously done.”

Sentenced Richards, of Vicarage Street, Stockton, to 15 months in prison, Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “Your SOPO put an obligation on you to notify the police of any relationships you formed with any women.

“The purpose of this was not to hamper your lifestyle but to protect others from risk of you committing offences, and to protect you from yourself.

“Your lack of candour with the police strikes me as being devious as you were aware you had a responsibility to notify them and you failed to do so.”

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