Paedophile convicted of sex with underage girl repeatedly failed to comply with Sex Offenders’ Register

Sunderland Magistrates' Court
Sunderland Magistrates' Court

A convicted paedophile has been punished after breaching the terms of the Sex Offenders’ Register for a fifth time.

Neil Paul Cook, 34, pleaded guilty at Sunderland magistrates in July to failing to comply with requirements to notify his address to police.

That he has several breaches on his record is clearly an aggravating factor

Omar Ahmad, prosecuting

The sex attacker had been due to be sentenced, but had to leave court to pick up his child from nursery, a previous bench heard.

Cook, of Lanercost, Glebe, Washington, was placed on the register for 10 years, when he was convicted of sexual activity by penetration of a female child under 16.

His conviction, at Newcastle Crown Court, on January 14, 2008, came after Cook committed the offence in 2006.

Prosecutor Omar Ahmad said: “This defendant was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for a sexual conviction.

“One requirement is to notify police of their details every 12 months, even if there is no change to those details.

“Cook was required to sign on by May 28, which he failed to do, which is a breach of the register.”

The court heard Cook was arrested on June 30, telling police he believed he had to sign on in November.

Mr Ahmad said: “He admitted he must have got the dates mixed up, saying ‘it’s nothing I’ve done on purpose’.”

The court heard Cook has 28 previous convictions for 39 offences, four of which were for breaches of the Sex Offenders’ Register.

His first breach was in 2009, followed by like offences in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

“That he has several breaches on his record is clearly an aggravating factor,” Mr Ahmad added.

Paul McAlindon, defending, said: “He moved addresses in May 2016, that changed the date he had to register to May.

“There has been not change in circumstances, I think the notification requirements are due to end this year in any event.

“He’s been at the address given to the court for a number of years now. He’s just got the dates muddled up.

“He does have four previous breaches dealt with by community orders and a suspended sentence.

“Clearly his previous failure to comply will be of some concern to the court.”

District Judge Roger Elsey sentenced Cook to a 12-month community order with 25 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also told to pay £85 costs and a £85 surcharge to fund victim services.