March 2019

Man deemed ‘sexual risk to children’ is jailed after breaching order

A MAN who repeatedly breached a sexual risk order imposed to protect children has been jailed for 10 months.

Patrick Cunnington, who has never been convicted of a sex offence, was put on the order last summer as police were concerned about the risk he presented.

But the 22-year-old, who at the time was described by District Judge Simon Cooper as an uncontrolled risk, continually failed to comply with its conditions.

He continued to contact children, despite being banned from doing so, and had internet enabled devices which he was not allowed to have.

Jailing him Judge Robert Pawson said it was his last chance and in future the sentences would be measured in years not months.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court an interim order was made in November 2017 and a full order last July. It is a civil ruling lasting five years obtained at Swindon magistrates’ court following an application from the police.

She said it was imposed because he had been investigated for allegedly threatening girls aged 13 to 15 to send him indecent images of them, something he denies.

It banned him from contacting under 16s and also from having devices which could connect to the internet and store images.

Miss Hingston told the court he repeatedly moved house living with friends and family, then saying he was of no fixed address without informing the police.

He was also in regular contact with two young boys, causing extreme concern to the parents of at least one of them. She said the onus was on the defendant to stop the contact.

When the defendant was arrested officers found four devices, including a smart phone and a Kindle, which he was not allowed.

Cunnington, who gave the court a care of address on Stonehenge Road, East Wichel, admitted breaching a sexual risk order.

Jailing him, the judge said there was no suggestion he had a sexual interest in the boys, but the risk was they will be mixing with underage girls. “These court orders are not optional. They are there for a reason. They are there because you pose a risk,” he said.

“The report says you pose a high risk to female children. That is the reason you were supposed not to be contacting males under 16.

The pre-sentence report refers to you as showing a blatant and persistent disregard. It is a long period of non-compliance.”This is really the last time you are going to receive sentences in months.

“If you breach this order again the judge will rake a view you are putting two fingers up to the system: a system that is designed to protect children.”