June 2020

Sex offender with history of child abuse caught after being spotted in McDonald’s

A serial sex offender with a history of abusing children was caught by police after being spotted in McDonald’s.

He had spent time with several youngsters – in defiance of a court order – after tricking a trusting woman that rumours of his seedy past were lies.

He had been unable to resist his urges in the past where children were concerned and there was a high risk of him abusing them again, a court heard.

Thomas Cochran, 66, formerly of Grimsby, admitted six offences of breaching a sexual offences prevention order and three of failing to notify his details as a sex offender.

Nigel Clive, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Cochran was given the order in 2012 after being convicted of sexual offences against children.

They involved inviting a young boy into his car, touching him and encouraging him to perform sex acts on him.

The newer offences happened after Cochran had contact with a woman and her young children.

Some of the encounters happened in Grimsby and were a breach of the order because he was not supposed to be with children.

They had driven into Grimsby town centre and were in McDonald’s when he was approached by police and arrested because they had been given information by him.

He had lied to her about having previous convictions for sex offences and pretended that he had actually been cleared of them. He did not mention the sexual offences prevention order.

She was left upset when she found out the truth and was worried that she had been manipulated and had put the children at risk.

“These are persistent breaches and there’s a risk of serious harm,” said Mr Clive.

Cochran’s convictions included indecent assault on a girl under 14 in 1979 , rape of a girl under 16 in 1995 and incitement and sexual activity with a boy under 16 in 2012.

Judge John Thackray QC told Cochran: “The children were at risk of being sexually abused. They were not sexually abused.

“Over a significant period, over a prolonged period, you deliberately breached your sexual offences prevention order and your notification requirements.”

Cochran placed the children at significant risk of being sexually abused.

“History shows that you have been unable to avoid your temptations,” said Judge Thackray.

“You have caused considerable and understandable distress.”

Cochran was jailed for two-and-a-half years.