September 2018

Jailed for bathing a baby: Sex offender breached order by washing friend’s child

A 30 year old Cirencester sex offender breached a sexual harm prevention order for the fourth time by bathing a friend’s baby, a judge heard on Friday.

Marc Nicholas, of Rodmarton, near Cirencester, pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court to two breaches of the sexual harm prevention order and one failure to notify in accordance with the sex offender register between July last year and March this year.

He was jailed for a year.

Nicholas had been made subject to the indefinite orders when he was convicted in 2006 of offences against a girl aged under 13.

The prohibitions bar him from being in the company of children without the permission of a parent or guardian who has full knowledge of his criminal history.

Prosecutor Grace Flynn told Recorder James Watson QC, that Nicholas had breached the order on three previous occasions, most recently in 2016 when he was jailed for doing so.

The most recent breach involved a friend of his girlfriend who had entrusted the care of her baby to Nicholas and his partner when she was in hospital, said Ms Flynn.

The woman had no knowledge of Nicholas’ past, Ms Flynn said.

She said the care of the baby ‘included close contact, bathing and all the usual child care aspects’.

Ms Flynn said the police conducted a random check on Nicholas and asked to see his phone.

There they saw Facebook messages that led them to the mother.

Ms Flynn said the woman was ‘rather upset’ when she received the call from the police about Nicholas.

She told police that Nicholas’ girlfriend had requested that she remove posts that included him on what appeared to be a normal family day out from Facebook as : “Everyone is checking up, and it f**ks things up.”

The woman believed that this referred to a family court proceedings and had no conception at all that Nicholas was a registered sex offender.

The judge ruled the previous breaches were ‘a significant feature of this matter’.

“It is deeply regrettable that following the sentence of imprisonment in September 2016 that you did not accept the need to follow the order,” the judge told him.

“The mother of that child was never informed,” the judge said, “and entrusted her young child to a convicted sex offender over a period of time.

“That caused her significant distress,” the judge said.

He described the breaches as a ‘deliberate and prolonged disregard of the order’.

“You had adequate notice of the approach the court would take from Sept 2016,” he continued.

“Only an immediate custodial sentence can be imposed,” he said as he jailed Nicholas for 12 months.