Peterborough sex offender jailed for third time in 18 months

A registered sex offender from Peterborough has been jailed for the third time in 18 months.
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Stuart Merry, 41, was arrested at the gates of HMP Littlehey on 9 October by officers from the northern Public Protection Unit (PPU), a team who monitor sex offenders upon their release into the community.

Convictions for indecent assault on a child and gross indecency with a child in 2010 resulted in Merry being jailed for five years and placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

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In 2018, police applied to the courts who authorised a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) which came with a number of conditions, including not contacting any known registered sex offender without the permission of police.

Stuart MerryStuart Merry
Stuart Merry

In July last year (2019), Merry was recalled to prison after he was released on licence, but had not demonstrated ‘good behaviour’. He was released again six months later in December.

In April this year (2020), he was back in prison after being sentenced to 14 months for three breaches of his SHPO; using a library computer to access the internet, phoning another individual who is on the Sex Offenders Register and deleting call logs from his mobile phone.

Despite having been found guilty of breaching three conditions of his SHPO, Merry continued to breach one of the conditions whilst serving his sentence by continuing his contact with the same sex offender.

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Prison phone records showed on seven separate occasions Merry dialled the home telephone number of his acquaintance between March and August this year.

Upon his release from prison on 9 October, Merry was arrested and charged the following day with two counts of breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

DC Natalie Hebdon, from the northern PPU, said: “Merry is a high-risk offender who has been monitored extremely closely by the Public Protection Unit for a number of years.

“Since his first conviction in 2001 where he committed an act of gross indecency at an outdoor paddling pool, Merry has been in and out of prison for various breaches of conditions placed upon him.

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“These conditions are in place to protect children from Merry who has clearly demonstrated he is a threat to our communities.”

Yesterday (Tuesday 22 December), he appeared at Peterborough Crown Court where he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

DC Hebdon added: “Upon his release we will continue to pay extremely close attention to Merry, including regular visits to his home, checking his electronic devices and any further offending will be put before the courts.”