February 2018

Sex offender walks from court despite conviction for child sex crimes

A CONVICTED sex offender has walked from court after having his sentence suspended. 

Darren Sellwood, of London Road, Bracknell, was found guilty of two counts of sexual crimes relating to children, but walked out of court without having to serve his sentence of 20 months in prison, suspended for two years. 

Sellwood, 36, was convicted on one count of sexual activity with a teenager, and one count of meeting a child following sexual grooming. 

Passing down the sentence, Judge John Price QC said: “There is no doubt that she was identified by you as a vulnerable child. 

“She considered that what she had done was foolish, but she was 15, and you were very much older than her. 

“It was you, and you alone, who was responsible for what happened between the two of you in those meetings in February 2013.

“She did as a child might do.”

In mitigating, Sellwood’s defence barrister Patrick Maggs argued that his client should be exempt from paying any victim surcharge due to his impending homelessness, as the property he lives in is forcing their residents out in April, due to unsafe living conditions. 

Sellwood was supported in court by an unidentified acquaintance, who let out a gasp of shock as the decision was made to suspend the sentence, before leaving the court crying after he was released from the dock. 

The 36-year-old showed no remorse or emotion throughout the ordeal, and spoke only to say “thank you” when released from the dock. 

The judge also stated that he does not believe Sellwood is a character likely to commit again, and noted that he hasn’t offended since, or before the incidents he was charged for.