August 2018

‘High risk’ child rapist back behind bars

A convicted child rapist has been jailed after he flouted court orders by having contact with a child and using a false name on Facebook.

Shaun Cox, 39, said he “just wanted to be normal” when he befriended a mum and spent time with her and her two children in the Middlesbrough area.

But he had a disturbing past as a child sex offender, Teesside Crown Court heard on Thursday.

He was jailed for six years for raping a 15-year-old girl in 2006.

He was locked up again for four years and eight months, plus an extra eight years’ licence, in 2012 for causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity after he had sex with a 14-year-old girl in a field.

The latter conviction led to a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) banning him from communicating with girls under 16.

He flouted this order when he had contact with the mum and her young children in May this year, during which he asked them about school and their behaviour.

The children’s mother said she was not aware Cox was a registered sex offender with a SOPO.

“He didn’t make this fact known to the mother,” said prosecutor Emma Atkinson. “She feels terrible.”

Cox was arrested at his computer, where officers saw he was using a Facebook account in the name of “Carl Scooby”. He had not informed police of the alias, which also breached court orders.

Cox, of Bilbrough Gardens, Newcastle, admitted the SOPO breach – his first – by his contact with one of the children, and failing to comply with notification requirements as a sex offender with the online alias.

He had 81 previous offences on his record and a pre-sentence report identified him as a high risk of harm to children.

Judge Sean Morris jailed Cox for 16 months.

He told the defendant, who appeared in court to be sentenced via video link to Durham Prison: “Be aware, this order is there to be obeyed.

“If you start breaching this order repeatedly the sentences will just get longer.”