Peterborough sex offender jailed for two years

Alan Stokes

Alan Stokes

A Peterborough sex offender who breached a court order designed to protect children four times has been locked up for two years.

Alan Stokes (35) of Bader Close, Peterborough, was found in possession of a mobile phone he was not allowed to have by police officers during an unannounced visit in September. Following the discovery, it was also revealed he had accompanied a child to a shop with no other adults present, again against the sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) imposed in 2008.

Officers also found two CS gas canisters Stokes’ home during the inspection.

The court was told Stokes has severe learning difficulties, and had breached the order on two previous occasions when he used computers.

The order had been imposed in September 2008, when he pleaded guilty to three counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, when he performed a sex act while filming himself on a webcam when he was talking to an 11-year-old girl over the internet.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Stokes was given two eight month sentences for the breaches of the SHPO, and a further eight month sentence for possession of an offensive weapon, with all sentences to be served consecutively. He had pleaded guilty to all charges at the first available opportunity.

The hearing had to be halted when Stokes suffered an epileptic fit in the dock - but he said he was well enough to continue sitting in the court room while the case was concluded.

Judge David Farrell QC, sentencing, told Stokes: “You have been given chance after chance to comply.
“You know what you are and are not entitled to do. You complied for years - you have been given every opportunity and help and you have failed to take it.
“There are deliberate and multiple breaches of an order that has to be obeyed.”

The court was told police officers made the unannounced visit on September 21.

Gregory Perrins, prosecuting, told the court Stokes was not in when the officers knocked on the door - but as they were leaving, they saw him returning to his house.

He initially tried to persuade the officers to have a chat in their police car - and when they said they were going to talk to him in the house, he immediately closed the bedroom door when the entered the property. However, officers had already spotted the phone on the bed.

During the interview, he also showed the officers both the CS canisters.

Jason Stevens, defending, said Stokes’ was a particularly vulnerable person, who would find the custodial environment more challenging than other inmates.

He asked Judge Farrell to suspend any prison sentence, however the judge said the case was too serious for anything other than immediate custody.

Judge Farrell added: “You knew what you were doing was wrong.”

The SHPO will continue indefinitely.