September 2020

Convicted sex offender back in court for order breach

A convicted sex offender has appeared in court after having unauthorised contact with young children.

Matthew McCormick admitted breaching the terms of his sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) after repeatedly visiting his step-sister when her children were present.

The 25-year-old failed to notify the relevant authorities that he was regularly visiting her over a three-month period.

Robin Turton, prosecuting, said the defendant was made subject of a five-year SHPO following his conviction for sexual assault in 2015.

He said McCormick had breached his order on two previous occasions in 2016 and January last year.

Mr Turton added: “On a number of occasions, he visited the address of his step-sister and her two young children and he said she was aware of his conviction.”

McCormick, of Ridley Terrace, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to breach of his SHPO when he appeared at magistrates’s court.

McCormick spent ten weeks on remand, the equivalent of a 20-week prison sentence, he added.

Judge Deborah Sherwin passed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also made subject to a new five-year SHPO order.

As a 19-year-old he kissed a 12-year-old girl while they were on a playing field in Hartlepool in front of her brother and sister and his own brother last year.

McCormick was found guilty of sexual assault after a four-day trial at Teesside Crown Court in April, 2015.

He was given a 12-month community order with supervision and banned from having contact with under-16s for five years.

August 2015

Judge takes ‘exceptional’ course of action by allowing teenager to go free following sex assault on girl, 12

A judge said he was taking an “exceptional” course when he allowed a teenager to walk free for a sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl.

Matthew McCormick kissed the child on a playing field in Hartlepool in front of her brother and sister and his own brother last year.

He was found guilty of sexual assault after a four-day trial at Teesside Crown Court in April, and returned today (Wednesday) to be sentenced.

The 19-year-old was given a 12-month community order with supervision and banned from having contact with under-16s for five years.

The judge, Recorder Tahir Khan, QC, also ordered that the teenager should sign on the sex offenders’ register for the next five years.

He told McCormick, of West View Road, Hartlepool: “There are features in your case which justify me dealing with you in an exceptional way.”

Mr Recorder Khan told Miss Egerton: “Unusually, a community order with supervision is appropriate in a case like this.

“It seems to me the public is better served by him serving a sentence in the community .

“This offence was marked by immaturity and impulsivity, it seems to me, and custody would not be the right way of dealing with him in the circumstances.”

The probation report said McCormick would be vulnerable in prison, and the judge added: “It is not necessary to send you to custody to protect the public, in particularly children, from unwanted attentions from you.

“I am persuaded that the last thing I should do is lock you up. It would not be right, in my judgement, to do that, although nobody should be under any illusion that committing a sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl is anything but serious.”