Sunderland sex attacker’s jail warning if he keeps moving house without telling police

Sunderland Magistrates Court.
Sunderland Magistrates Court.

A Sunderland sex attacker has been warned he faces jail if he keeps failing to notify the authorities of his address.

Peter Dawson, 34, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in 2012, has repeatedly defied his obligations on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

If you fail to notify a change of address again, you should expect a prison sentence

District Judge Roger Elsey

He was given a suspended prison sentence at the time and was told to comply with the register.

The Echo reported how he appeared in court last April when he failed to tell police he had moved to a new address. And two years before that, in 2014, he was cautioned for the same offence.

Now Dawson, of St Paul’s Terrace, Ryhope, has been back before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, where he has pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the requirement to visit a police station to register his address.

Prosecutor Ember Wong said: “The defendant was convicted at Durham Magistrates’ Court on January 9, 2012, of a relevant offence of sexual assault, for which he received a 12-week suspended sentence and was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

“The defendant was reminded of his notification requirements by two voice messages being left.

“A letter was put through his letter box and he was reminded to register by April 26, but failed to make contact.”

The court heard how when officers visited his home he admitted he had lived there since February without informing police.

Ms Wong said: “This was a deliberate failure to comply with the requirements.”

The court heard he has three previous offences on his record.

Jason Smith, defending, said: “This is a bit of a tale in so far as Mr Dawson has previously been living at the address.

“He was made unemployed and he lost the property – he had to move.

“He then managed to get a new address and he started a new job.

“He does have some embarrassment about having to go to a police station and fulfil his registration requirements, but he does accept that he has to face up to this responsibility.

“The sex assault of which he was convicted was touching a young lady’s bottom without consent – that was over her clothing.

“It is not as invasive a sexual assault as you might imagine – touching a lady over her clothing.”

District Judge Roger Elsey said: “As this is your second breach, this is a serious offence, however, you were told by another bench you could expect a community sentence and I will have to follow that.

“I have to give credit to the fact you have pleaded guilty and that you have not committed further offences of indecency.

“For these reasons there will be a 12-month community sentence with 20 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement.

“Understand this, you need to turn up to all of your appointments and do everything the Probation Service requires you to do, otherwise you will be back here and will get heavier punishment.

“If you fail to notify a change of address again, you should expect a prison sentence.”