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John Wood – Darlington/Willington

May 2018

Willington sex offender lived at address in Darlington without informing police

A sex offender who breached the terms of his notification requirements and other court orders has been jailed for a total of 28 months.

John Liam Wood was made subject of registration as a sex offender, requiring him to notify police of his address, after being convicted of making indecent images of children, in October 2016.

He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) prohibiting him from having direct contact with a teenager with whom he had been in communication and not to possess any device capable of obtaining internet access without police knowledge.

But, Durham Crown Court heard that police made an inquiry with the Department for Work and Pensions earlier this year as Wood did not appear to be living at the address he had stipulated, in Willington.

It emerged he was at an address in Barden Moor Road, Darlington, from October until March, living with a woman with whom he said he had been in a relationship for at least seven months.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said he was arrested and produced a telephone from his pocket which he claimed belonged to his partner.

But, on the way to the police station he admitted it was his phone and that it had an email account.

While searching him, two bank cards were found on Wood which he had failed to notify police about, while examination of the phone revealed he had been in contact with the male with whom he was forbidden from communicating.

He gave various explanations for the breaches, claiming he had been been unaware of having to disclose his bank account and phone, while he claimed the other male had been communicating with him and he asked someone else to tell him to stop pestering him.

But, when 38-year-old Wood, of Norwich Gardens, Willington, appeared at a recent plea hearing he admitted three counts of failing to comply with the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders’ Register and two of breaching the SHPO.

The convictions also put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence for burglary in which he stole antique collectables from the home of a friend who he knew to be on holiday.

Jailing him, Judge Simon Hickey said such orders are put in place to offer the public protection from sex offenders when they are living in the community.

Judge Hickey said they appeared “quite deliberate” breaches which only merited a custodial sentence and he added that the existing orders would continue.

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