Febuary 2010

Court bans offender from associating with under-18s

A CONVICTED sex offender has been banned from associating with anyone under 18 after a court decided he posed a threat to a girl.

Magistrates ruled that James Harvey, aged 68, who was jailed for seven years for the rape and indecent assault of a child in 1999, had “gone out of his way to build a friendship” with a young girl.

The court imposed an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order on Harvey.

He cannot have anything but casual contact with under-18s unless supervised by an adult responsible for their care – so long as that adult is approved by the police and social services.

Harvey, of St Levan Road, is also banned from living in the same private residence as a child. Breaching the order carries a maximum of five years in jail.

He had contested the order and denied that he was grooming the girl to have sex with him. Harvey claimed he had never had unsupervised contact with the girl at a Plymouth address.

But presiding magistrate Jane Mutch said: “There is at least a possibility that he has had unsupervised contact and there is a risk of her being exposed to serious sexual harm. We have no doubts that an order is necessary.”

She added that his relationship with the girl mirrored that of his relationship with the victim of the rape before she was assaulted.

The court heard that Harvey is on the Sex Offenders Register for life and is monitored by the police. He was convicted in 1999 of raping and indecently assaulting a girl between the ages of 10 and 12 in West Cornwall.

Public protection officer Det Con Magnus Scott told the court that Harvey bought the girl in Plymouth presents and she sat on his knee. He added that he did not believe that the girl was being protected properly, despite warnings from the police and social workers.

Det Con Scott alleged: “His sexual interest in children will remain with him for the rest of his life, it won’t go away. He has not done any work in prison. He is a risk to children and will remain so.” He added that, though he admitted his offences in the ’90s, he did not take the prison course designed to tackle sexual offending.