A sex offender did a runner from his hostel and failed to inform his monitoring officer that he was living in a house with a woman and her 15-year-old daughter.
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Brian Warwick, 38, was subject to licence supervision after his release from a five-year prison sentence for sexual activity with an underage girl, which resulted in her becoming pregnant.
As part of the sentence he was made subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo), forbidding unsupervised contact with children under 16, and notification requirements where he was living, under the terms of the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Durham Crown Court was told after his release last November he was living at a hostel near Chester-le-Street.
His offender manager reported difficulties supervising him as he refused to reveal his phone numbers or allow a check of his phone.
It emerged he left the hostel on March 7 and signed into a night shelter in Edinburgh, but did go back on March 9, and travelled to Blackpool where he stayed at the home of a woman with the teenage daughter until April 8.
Paul Cleasby, prosecuting, said the woman stated she was unaware Warwick was prohibited from being alone with children.
As she worked through lockdown her daughter would have been alone with him at home during the day, after the closure of schools, and there was evidence he accompanied her on a visit to her grandmother’s home.
“No offences were disclosed by the child, but he had contacted her on the phone.
“He set up a business account and sent her messages, instructing her to delete them in case police came and searched her phone.”
Mr Cleasby said her mother confirmed she had known Warwick about 11 years earlier, but lost touch until weeks earlier, when he contacted her via Facebook.
Although he told her he was on the Sex Offenders’ Register she thought it was for an offence with an ex-wife, and said she felt comfortable with him staying at her home.
But she added that if she had known he had sex with a child she would not have permitted him to stay there.
Knowing police wanted to speak to him, Warwick handed himself in at Durham Police Station, on April 21.
He has remained in custody since and admitted breaching the Sopo and two counts of failing to comply with notification requirements at a hearing last month.
Judge Ray Singh said it appears Warwick’s earlier engagement with police has been, “sporadic, to the extent of being evasive”.
He said Warwick then, effectively, “went AWOL” and, “disturbingly” stayed in a house with an underage girl.
Imposing a 29-month prison sentence, Judge Singh added: “This was a significant breach of the Sopo, making determined efforts to evade detection.”