Thrapston paedophile spared from prison after breaching sex offender register rules

A court heard he was "somewhat confused" by them

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 9:32 am
Ottley, pictured outside Maidstone Crown Court in 2015. Credit: SWNS

A paedophile who was once jailed for luring young girls into his driving instructor car and filming sexual abuse has been spared from being sent back to prison.

Matthew Ottley, of Midland Road in Thrapston, was put on the register for sex offenders for life after he was locked up in 2016 for his horrific actions which took place in Kent.

He picked his victims up outside a school and drove them in his AA car to a rural lane to act out his twisted fantasies. The paedophile, who once ran his own driving school called 'I Drive Safely', then threatened the girls that he would put a clip of the abuse on YouTube if they told anyone. AA suspended him at the time and then severed all ties with him when he was convicted of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and arranging or facilitating child prostitution or pornography.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

After serving half of his four-and-a-half year prison sentence he was freed and, under the sex offender registration requirements, was required to notify police of details such has his address, bank cards and phone numbers, as well as registering annually so he could be properly monitored. Breaching the requirements is a crime in itself which can be punished by up to five years in prison.

But between April 2018 and June 2020 he committed eight breaches - seven relating to bank cards he didn't register and one relating to a late annual notification.

On Thursday (April 22) Northampton Crown Court heard the 45-year-old registered his Thrapston address in April 2019, but not credit cards.

A year later attempts were made to contact him for his annual notification, which were unsuccessful.

Prosecutor Dawn Pritchard said: "On June 10 it seems his offender manager attended Thrapston to arrest him.

"He approached him as he was getting into his car, arrested him and he was taken into his house for a search.

"In his wallet were three cards which had not been registered."

The court heard he claimed he had forgotten about them and was taken to a police station, where he gave no comment answers. He later said he thought he wasn't due to register his annual details again until October.

When he was told he was in breach of the requirements he replied: "Okay."

Mitigating, Ellena Forman said Ottley, who wore a Union Jack face covering and took a black holdall into the dock, fully accepted his guilt but was "somewhat confused" by the rules.

She said he had attended a police station in October 2019 to provide a new mobile number and thought that meant he was not due to notify again until October 2020.

She added that he had significant credit card debt and should have handed over the cards.

The court heard his breaches did not result in any harm, putting his offending in the lowest category of sentences which could be passed.

Ottley was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for eight months.

But His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo warned Ottley being selective about what is given to the police can ring "significant alarm bells".

He said: "They (the rules) are there for a reason, whether you agree with them or not."

Ottley was told he would also have to take part in rehabilitation activities.