May 2018

Paedophile hid his sick past from the parent’s of children he was meeting

A high-risk sex offender has been sent back to jail – a year after being released from a sentence imposed for abusing young girls.

Jason Gatting, 43, was jailed in 2007 for grooming and sexually assaulting two girls aged nine and seven.

The parole board thought he was such a risk to children that he was not deemed safe for release from his indeterminate sentence until 2016.

But a year after gaining his freedom he breached the terms of a court order designed to protect children from his attention. The defendant had not tried to molest any children but he had met some children without telling their parents about his past.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court jailed him again for six months with a warning that he will have to prove his suitability for release to the parole board before being released.

The defendant admitted breaching the terms of his Sexual Offenders Prevention Order.

Judge David Evans told Gatting: “I must sentence you for a single offence of breaching the prohibitions of your order, an order made in January 2007 of an indefinite duration which among other things prohibited you with associating with children under 16 in private unless those with parental responsibility knew about your offending.”

Gatting was sent to prison in 2007 for molesting two girls. He pretended to play games with them, gave them chocolate and money, before abusing them.

Judge Evans said Gatting was kept in jail for many years longer than the minimum 16-month term because the parole board was concerned about the risk he posed to children. Probation say he also poses a threat.

The defendant, who previously lived in Northam near Bideford, was fully aware of the terms of his order when he was released but didn’t tell the children’s parents about his past because he feared getting beaten up, the court was told.

“You put yourself in a domestic situation where you knew you shouldn’t have been,” said the judge.

“You were in arms reach of temptation when you should be nowhere near children, especially unsupervised.

“You had been drinking again and you probably knew in your own mind this was a risk factor against which you have to guard.

“The offence is so serious that only immediate prison can been appropriate.”

Gatting had already been recalled to prison under the terms of his release so is subject to the indeterminate sentence.

Judge Evans said: “You will not, in all probability, be released when that six month sentence ends because it will be down to the parole board and you may be in prison for a good while yet.”