August 2019

Convicted paedophile stayed in ‘holiday’ house with 10 year old girl

An English paedophile visited Linwood on holiday – and ended up staying in the same house as a young girl.

David Snow was previously placed on a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) and jailed over a sex attack on a young girl in his native Liverpool.

Snow, 40, was caged for three years after pleading guilty to two charges of assaulting a girl under the age of 16, while on bail.

He was later placed on a SOPO, which bans him from living or staying with anyone under the age of 18 unless given written permission by the Chief Constable in the area where he lives.

But Snow, who also has a stalking conviction, came to Renfrewshire on holiday in the summer and stayed with a friend and her child.

After Snow began acting strangely one night, the woman phoned the police – and it emerged he was banned from having contact with children due to his conviction.

Snow returned to the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court to learn his fate over the breach after he had pleaded guilty to breaching his SOPO.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Claire Rowan explained: “The accused and the girl’s mum have known each other for three years, maintaining contact on social media, given she lives in Linwood and the accused lives down south.

“They made an arrangement that the accused would come on holiday to Scotland and reside at her home address.

“She has a daughter, aged 10, who resides with her.

“The accused came to stay and stayed with her and her daughter for a number of days, sleeping on the couch in the living room.

“At around 2.30am on Friday, July 12, she and the accused were drinking within her home address, and her daughter was staying elsewhere that evening.

“The accused started to act strangely and she went to a neighbour’s house and phoned the police because she required the accused to be removed from her house.

“At 2.46am they attended and met her.

“She stated she wanted the accused to be removed and also confirmed he was just a friend and that they had never been in a relationship together.

“She stated he had been sleeping on the couch and her daughter lived at the address.

“Police spoke with the accused and did a Police National Computer Check.”

They discovered that he was banned from staying with children, unless given written permission by the police, and Snow replied: “I’ve not been told about this.”

Sheriff Craig Harris was told that Snow, of Westcott Road, Liverpool, had been told the young girl was going to stay with her father and would not be at home when he was there.

But that plan was said to have fallen through, meaning she was staying at home, and leaving Snow unable to go elsewhere because he does not know anyone else in Scotland, and did not have the finances to pay for a hotel or an earlier train home than the one he had already booked and paid for.

Snow previously breached his SOPO and was sentenced for that breach in 2014 at Liverpool Crown Court, when he was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, ordered to undergo supervision for 18 months, receive addiction counselling and pay £80 to his victim.

Sheriff Craig Harris allowed Snow to go back to England this time – as he spared him jail.

He said: “This is your second breach of your Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

“My initial thought was to impose a custodial sentence.

“As soon as you realised the child was staying in the house, you should have removed yourself, whether you had the necessary finances or not.

“By staying there, and you stayed there for a number of days, you committed a criminal offence.

“I’m going to give you a community-based disposal so there is going to be more control for you to be monitored in Liverpool, where you live – you can be more stringently managed.

“As a direct alternative to custody, the maximum is justified in this case.”

He placed Snow on a Community Payback Order, which will see him supervised by social workers for the next three years and having to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work in the next 12 months.

The unpaid work was reduced from 300 hours’ as Snow admitted his guilt – and the judge warned him he could yet be caged over the case.

He told Snow he had to comply with the punishments, explaining: “All sentencing options would be open to the court, including imprisonment.”