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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Court returns Barrow sex offender to prison

A BARROW sex offender has been returned to jail less than two weeks after being released.

Matthew Royle, of Hall Street, pleaded guilty to failing to notify police of his address, in Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The 26-year-old had been released from HMP Preston on March 7 and under the terms of his sex offenders order he had to contact police with his address by midnight on March 10.

Police visited Royle’s Hall Street home and could not find him. He was later found in Millom.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, told the court this was the second time Royle had breached the order since it was imposed in April 2013.

She said: “It’s right to say on December 23 last year he failed to comply with the order and committed an offence on a suspended sentence and was sent to prison.

“He was released from prison on March 7 and is expected to notify police of his address within three days.

“If you look through Mr Royle’s record it’s fair to say he has a habit of breaking court orders.”

Royle was convicted at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on April 2 of sexual assault and given a suspended jail term.

Mr Sean Harkin, defending, said Royle had found himself in Millom but learned the police station had closed so was unable to inform police of his address.

Mr Harkin said: “This may be considered negligent rather than deliberate.

“The defendant’s partner had just given birth to a baby, his partner is serving a custodial sentence and that child has been taken into care – it’s very distressing for Mr Royle.”

Ms Sharon Gillam, presiding magistrate, sentenced Royle to 16 weeks in jail.

She said: “It’s so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified. This is a second breach in a short period of time and you have previously breached other court orders.

“Police looked for you in Barrow and found you in Millom.”

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