May 2018

Sex offender caught in hotel room with ‘vulnerable’ woman

A convicted sex offender from Derbyshire shook with fear in the dock and muttered “oh my God” as a judge jailed him for his latest crime.

Derby Crown Court heard how James Craig was first convicted of eight counts of gross indecency with a child in 2001, an offence which saw him placed on the sex offender’s register for life.

Under its terms he must, by law, notify the police if he is to spend more than seven days living at any other address than his home in Hatton.

However, in July last year, police received a call from the concerned mother of a “vulnerable” Nottingham woman that she was with Craig at a hotel in Newquay.

They asked their colleagues from Devon and Cornwall police to go to the Sutherland Hotel, in Newquay, where they found the woman with the 49-year-old offender and arrested him.

Jailing Craig, of Castle View, for eight months, Judge Robert Egbuna said: “You were put on the sex offender’s register for life and that was for a good reason.

“If it were not for the concerned mother of this vulnerable woman, who suffers mental health problems, no-one would have known where you were.

Lucky Thandi, prosecuting, said Nottinghamshire police received the call from the woman’s mother in September concerned she had gone to Newquay with Craig and had not returned when she was supposed to.

Miss Thandi said: “They registered her as a missing person due to her vulnerability over her personal circumstances.

“Nottinghamshire police asked Devon and Cornwall police to go to the hotel which they did and they found the defendant and the woman together.

“Enquiries uncovered that the defendant had booked for them to stay for a week but that he had decided to book a second week while they were there.”

Miss Thandi said in his interview Craig said he had only been there “four or five days” and that he had never received any paperwork telling him about his notification requirements.

But the court was told how this was the second time he had breached his order, the first time being in 2014 when he lived at a different address to one he had registered with the police.

Craig pleaded guilty to one count of failing to comply with his notification requirements.

He has 10 previous convictions for 27 offences including the 2001 gross indecency with a child offences which saw him jailed for 16 months.

Nick Walsh, mitigating, said: “It was never his intention to stay (at the hotel) longer than the first week but he understands he failed to notify the police when he did.

“That was a mistake and not deliberate, he tells me.”

Judge Egbuna, sentencing Craig said: “Your sentence is eight months custody, take him down” at which point the defendant physically shook and muttered: “Oh my God”.