April 2019

Child abuser nicknamed ‘The Candy Man’ was jailed for 12 years

A child abuser nicknamed ‘The Candy Man’ was jailed for 12 years as a judge declared him to be a public danger.

Mark Bate, 48, handed sweets to his young victims and also gave them pads to play on, the city’s crown court heard.

After a five-day trial, he was convicted of offences against two girls, one as young as four.

He had already been caught in 2018 by a paedophile hunting team trying to find a 14-year-old for sex. He had sent sexually explicit messages to a girl he believed was 14 years old.

Judge Stuart Rafferty QC told him: “You pose a risk of serious harm to members of the public, specifically young children to the commission of further offences such as this.

“The pattern of your offending, the nature of your offending, the fact that you are in flat denial, means that I judge you are a risk.”

He described Bate’s victims as “very young, very vulnerable” and said that he was known as “The Candy Man” because he gave them confectionary.

Bate of Gayrigg Court, Chilwell stood silently when told he would have to serve eight years in prison before he can apply for parole.

The judge said that Bate could serve the whole 12 years if he fails to convince the Parole Board that he should be released.

After that, he must spend four years on licence where he will be monitored by probation officers.

Gregor Purcell, prosecuting, applied for a sexual harm prevention order and this was granted by the judge.

Bate will also remain on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and must never work with children.

A jury found him guilty of two serious sexual offences, two counts of sexual assault of a child and another sexual assault last year.

Emma Hodgson, defending, said that a pre-sentence report assessed whether Bate is a danger.

She said this listed him as being “low to medium risk of re-offending and the risk of serious harm.”

The judge replied: “I am afraid I disagree with that.”

The court heard that Bate was earlier given a suspended prison term after trawling the internet.

He mistakenly thought he was in contact with a 14-year-old and was “encouraging that girl into sexual intercourse,” the judge added.

After the case, detective constable Natalie Stokes said that Bate forced children to give evidence because he had denied the allegations.

She added: “They have all shown tremendous courage.

“The fact that he refused to accept his crimes and insisted on putting the victims through a trial is another example of his abusive nature.”

August 2018

Pervert caught by paedophile hunters posing as 14-year-old girl

A 48-year-old man called police when he discovered a group of paedophile hunters outside his Chilwell home, a court.

Mark Bate, of Gayrigg Court, had been sending sexually explicit messages to a girl he believed was 14 years old.

But the person was a decoy created by an online child protection team who tracked him to his address to confront him.

When officers arrived, they were handed downloads of his lewd conversations with the ‘child’.

At Nottingham Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual conversations with a ‘child’ and attempting to incite a ‘child’ to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Sarah Buckingham gave him 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and rehabilitation activity days, including a specified course.

He will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and the sex offenders’ register for five years.