July 2005

Pensioner admits park sex offences

A PENSIONER has admitted trying to induce young girls to take part in sexual activity after approaching them in a public park.

Seventy-one-year-old Peter Atkinson was accused of four allegations, involving girls aged 12 and 14, following incidents in Woodhouse Park, Peterlee, County Durham, in June last year.

Atkinson denied all four charges at a previous hearing at Durham Crown Court.

But he pleaded guilty to three of the counts when they were put to him again at the request of defence barrister Jamie Adams, at the court, yesterday.

They allege that he caused or induced the girls to take part in sexual activity, in one case trying to persuade a girl to go home with him to have sex.

Amanda Rippon, prosecuting, said the pleas were acceptable to the Crown, and will ask for the fourth charge to be left on the file 

Bailing Atkinson to an address in Peterlee, the judge told him: “Don’t assume that because I’m giving you bail, it is any kind of hint or indication as to what the sentence might be.”

Atkinson was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register