January 2019

Pervert spared jail after breaching court order

A pervert who breached court orders after being convicted of offences of possessing child sex abuse images has been spared jail.

John Watson was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence in January 2017.

A sexual harm prevention order was made and he was ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

But the 21-year-old chef twice flouted his notification requirements, Maidstone Crown Court was told on Friday.

He first used an alias to set up a pseudo Facebook account and was given a suspended sentence in March last year.

Within two months, Watson failed to comply with a yearly requirement to sign on the sex offenders’ register.

He had moved from Kent to Dorset in March 2017, but then returned after he lost his job when his employer discovered his previous offending.

In May last year, he had not told police he was living with his partner of four years and her mother in Halling, near Rochester.

Ian Foinette, prosecuting, said although he only missed his annual notification date by eight days, Watson’s behaviour may have been more than an oversight.

“When one looks at the background of the original offences, and then the breach after that, and then this breach, there is at the very least, a sticking of the head in the sand to avoid the trouble he was in,” he said.

“But the setting up of the Facebook account required the intention to do so, and the failing to notify the change of address only came to light when he was contacted by his supervising officer.

“It could be said these are deliberate actions and he has made an effort to carry them out.”

Watson, of Limeburners Drive, Halling, admitted failing to comply with notification requirements and breaching the suspended sentence order.

Judge Julian Smith said although Watson had been “a little too casual” with his obligations as a convicted sex offender, he was willing to give him one last chance.

Watson was fined £400 fine and ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work.

“You have not paid enough attention to this,” the judge told him. “If you comply, you will be left alone and allowed to get on with your life. You will be given a chance.

“It’s a second breach and it’s significant, but I think the first was more serious as it showed planning.

“My concern is that you have done the same thing again. If I thought this was a deliberate circumvention I would have no hesitation in activating your suspended sentence and you would have gone inside.

“I can take an exceptional course but I want to make it clear that a breach of a suspended sentence order almost always results in activation.”

Watson had previously worked at The Boathouse in Yalding and is now employed as a chef at the Dockside shopping centre in Chatham.