July 2014

Durham rapist sentenced after sex register fail

A CONVICTED rapist has admitted failing to tell police that he was living with his girlfriend and her two teenage children for a month.

Michael Woods failed to update the sex offenders register between January 16 and February 18 this year, magistrates in Newton Aycliffe were told.

Woods, 32, of Fir Avenue in Durham, is on the register indefinitely after being convicted of rape in 2005, the court heard.

Prosecutor Joanne Hesse said he should have told police he was spending numerous nights at the home of his girlfriend in Willington.

Ms Hesse said he also should have notified the authorities that there were two people aged under 18 living in the home.

John Griffith in mitigation said Woods had fully complied with the sex offenders register for the past six years and had not meant any harm with the breaches.

Mr Griffith said Woods’ partner, from whom he has now split, knew about his history and no harm had been caused to anybody by breaching the order.

The court heard that Woods has turned his life around, is now drug free and has secured himself a job as a part-time chef in a fast food restaurant.

Woods, who admitted two charges of failing to comply with the notification requirements of the sexual offenders register, is also rebuilding relationships with his family and is making “great progress in the community”, Mr Griffiths said.

Magistrates gave Woods a 12 month community order with supervision and ordered him to pay £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.