August 2018

Sex offender planned to go on holiday with neighbours and their kids

A pensioner who failed to tell a neighbouring family with children he was a registered sex offender had planned to go on holiday with them, a court heard.

Preston Crown Court heard Adrian Wintle wanted to go to Lanzarote with his neighbours in Openshaw Drive, Blackburn.

Wintle, 74, was given a sexual offences prevention order in May 2012 after he sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13.

The court heard how the defendant had been visited by a police officer in May 2018 checking up on the court order.

The officer discovered Wintle had plans to go on holiday and had been in contact with the family’s children,

which breached his order.

Paul Cummings, prosecuting, said: “It was clear he had contact with the neighbours and their children on a number of occasions.

“It seems the defendant struck up a friendship with that family and he became a trusted friend and neighbour.”

The court heard Wintle had breached his order twice.

Firstly, in August 2016, one of the children who lived next door could not get into her house after school one day as she had forgotten her keys and her parents were working in Warrington.

Mr Cummings said: “She was advised by her parents to go to her aunt’s. She said she would wait at the defendant’s house.

“According to her interview, that is what she did, she was allowed in and waited there for her parents.”

The court heard how a relative of Wintle was present at the house when the child was waiting there.

The defendant also spent a period of time with the family’s daughter, between May 2016 and November 2017.

Mr Cummings said: “It appears he had contact with this girl, however there is no evidence sexual offences took place.

“The family had no knowledge of the defendant’s previous offence.”

Wintle, now of Ainsworth Close, Darwen, pleaded guilty to two breaches of his order and was given an eight-month jail sentence, which was suspended for two years.

Talking about the parents’ reaction to finding out about Wintle’s previous record, Judge Simon Medland QC, said: “They will never forgive you. It has caused them to doubt themselves as parents. They feel they put their children at risk.”