Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sex offender spared jail after wearing too short shorts in supermarket

A man has been spared jail after breaching his Sexual Offences Prevention Order by wearing shorts that were too short in a supermarket. Fifty-seven-year-old Ian Watkins of Cwmbran, was handed a ten week suspended prison sentence for breaching his order by wearing shorts which cut above the knee at Morrison’s in Torfaen, south Wales.

Newport Crown Court heard that on May 28, Watkins was buying beers when he was stopped by a Gwent Police officer, who recognised Watkins and knew he was in breach of his order by his clothing and arrested him. Prosecutor Rob Simkins told the court how Watkins was made subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in July 2013 where he was convicted of indecent exposure. “The order was made subject to five years,” Mr Simkins said. “He must not wear any short trousers or shorts in any public area that fall above the knee in breach of the Sexual Offences Order.”

Watkins told the court he owned two sets of shorts; one set of short shorts above the knee and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order approved pair. “These particular shorts had no lining and Watkins was not wearing any underwear,” Mr Simkins said. Watkins said he was merely completing some jobs that day which included going to the Post Office to collect his money, before visiting B&Q and Morrison’s for some beers. When Asked why he didn’t put on trousers Watkins said he didn’t think he would be out that long.

The court heard how Watkins has nine convictions for 19 offences, including gross indecency involving a child under the age of 16 in 2009 and exposure in July 2013. Defending Sophie Thoms said the court needed to consider the seriousness of the offence. “He was just not concentrating enough on his clothing,” she said. “He caused no harm [and] he has showed remorse.” Ms Thoms said he pleaded guilty immediately after being taken into the police station. Chairman of magistrates Vivienne Mabbott sentenced Watkins to 10 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered him to pay £345 in court costs within seven days.

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