August 2019

Sex offender breached conditions

A sex offender who broke registration conditions by moving in with a mother and child has been spared jail.

Dean Cootes of Kenwood Close, Trowbridge, had already been warned about breaching the registration conditions when he was caught in bed at the woman’s house.

And when officers spoke to her she revealed she knew nothing about the 36-year-old’s past, Swindon Crown Court was told.

But after hearing how the retired policeman’s son was now back living with his parents a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said he was convicted of eight counts of voyeurism in July 2015 after he was caught putting a camera phone in a bathroom.

Although he was spared jail he was told he must register as a sex offender for the following five years, during which period the police monitored him.

Cootes was given a written warning for staying in a property where a child lived for more than seven days without informing the police in July 2016.

Mr Meeke said the woman told officers he had been there most nights since the previous August and she had no idea he was a sex offender.

When he was questioned he said he had been unwell and ‘his brain had not been functioning’ at the time. Cootes admitted breaching the sex offender registration conditions.

Michael Hall, defending, said soon after the sentence for voyeurism he was jailed for a different matter of perverting the course of justice.

As a result he said he had never been able to take part in the Thames Valley Sex Offenders’ programme, which had been a part of the sentence.

He said he was now living with his parents and had a number of issues with both his physical and mental health.

Passing sentence Judge Peter Crabtree said that despite him receiving a warning it was his first conviction for breaching the order.

He said “Notification requirements are thee for good reason: to protect the public. They should not easily be disregarded.”

He imposed a six month jail term suspended for two years with 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement.