September 2022

Homeless man caught with child abuse images

Sex offender John Bentley has ‘lost everything’ after being released from jail with no support.

The 45-year-old was placed on the register after being convicted of possessing indecent images of children on September 3, 2020 and making indecent images of children on March 11 this year.

Prosecutor Emma Thompson told North Staffordshire Justice Centre the defendant was released from prison ‘with no support; on August 11 for an allegation of assault.

He was then given a place at Hanley’s Macari Centre but failed to tell police about his new address.

Miss Thompson said: “Due to him being on the sex offenders’ register, the defendant had three days to notify the police of an address but he failed to do that. He failed to notify them of his address within three days.

The defendant, of The Macari Centre, Hanley, was arrested. He said he was released but had nowhere to stay before he found a bed at The Macari Centre. He said he had no excuse and simply forgot to register his address, adding ‘it will not happen again’.

The court heard the defendant previously breached the notification requirements earlier this year by failing to sign his annual registration.

Steve Hennessy, mitigating, said the defendant was on remand for six months on an allegation of assault and was then acquitted at trial. He was released and was homeless.

Mr Hennessy said: “He had lost everything. It took him a day or two to find the Macari Centre. The court may have sympathy for someone released from custody with no assistance.

“He was located at The Macari Centre without difficulty. He was not trying to avoid the authorities at all.

“The previous breach was the annual registration. There is no suggestion of the commission of further substantive offences.”

Magistrates adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Bentley. He will be sentenced on October 4 and his bail was extended.