A SEX offender subject to strict rules after being jailed for the abuse of two schoolgirls went to ground and then moved into an address where a nine-year-old child was living.
Steven Bedford, aged 42, formerly of Walgrave, was jailed for 14 months at Northampton Crown Court in January 2010 after he admitted five sex offences against children. His victims had been given alcohol and, arguably, cannabis, before being abused. One 10-year-old girl awoke in a caravan at Santa Pod race track to find him abusing her. He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register and made subject to a 10-year Sexual Offences’ Prevention Order (SOPO) which banned him from making references to his victims on social network sites, contacting or staying one night with any girl aged under 16.
Laura O’Malley, prosecuting, said he was released from prison in March 2011, but was returned a month later for failing to comply with strict notification requirement for sex offenders.
The court heard when he was released from prison again, he did not tell police where he was living over three weeks in February, breaching the requirements of the register.
And when he was finally traced, police discovered he had been staying at an address in Wellingborough, between February 19 and 26, where a nine-year-old girl lived.
Bedford, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the SOPO and of the register and was jailed for six months.
Sentencing the former heroin addict, Recorder William Harbage QC said Bedford had deliberately breached both the register and the prevention order.
He said: “When you were sent back to prison in April 2011 that should have brought home to you the fact you would have to abide by these requirements and you have not. The SOPO quite clearly tells you that you should not sleep, even for one night in the same dwelling as any female under the age of 16.
“Notification requirements and the SOPO were imposed for a reason. They are there to protect the public and young children by keeping tabs on you.”