Sex offender given suspended sentence for flouting notification requirements (From The Advertiser Series)
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County Durham sex offender given suspended sentence for flouting notification requirements
A SEX offender flouted strict notification requirements by staying at his girlfriend’s house on weekends.
Tony James Liddle, who was sentenced to three years’ detention for attempted rape as a 14-year-old, in 2004, has since been subject to registration as a sex offender, which will remain in place for life.
Durham Crown Court heard this included notifying police of his address, while also being subject to home visits as he was considered “a high risk of re-offending” after the conviction.
The court was told this was revised to “medium risk” more recently.
Adrian Dent, prosecuting, said while Liddle was generally considered “co-operative”, it was thought he feared police would inform any third party about his previous conviction.
Mr Dent, prosecuting, told the court Liddle was living in the Stanley area, but formed a relationship with a girl, then aged 16, who he met while both worked in a bar in Durham in July last year.
He said Liddle would stay at his girlfriend’s home, in east Durham, on a weekly basis, usually on weekends.
When interviewed about breaching notification requirements, in May, he admitted being aware of the requirement and told police he had not told his girlfriend of the conviction.
Mr Dent said she subsequently gave a statement in which she said she was “shocked” to learn of the conviction.
Liddle, now 24, of Edward Street, Craghead, near Stanley, admitted failing to comply with notification requirements as a sex offender.
Representing himself, Liddle told the court he is still seeing his girlfriend, despite her shock at learning of his past offence.
“Before this I have always complied with the requirement.
“I’ve got a job, and I now don’t drink, smoke or take drugs,” he added.
Recorder Neil Davey told Liddle: “Following your conviction in 2004 you were told to keep police informed of your whereabouts.
“Unitl last year you abided by it, but, having formed a relationship with a young woman, you chose not to comply with it, so details of your past did not come out.
“You knew exactly what you were doing because notification requirements are there for a good reason.
“”It’s not some lifestyle choice to be picked up and dropped at the whim of the person subject to it.
“Even if this was for an innocent motive, you must be under no illusion as to how serious this type of offending is.”
Recorder Davey imposed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with £80 statutory surcharge.
But he warned Liddle he would be jailed immediately if there is any repeat.