July 2023

High-risk sex offender returned to jail

A dangerous sex offender has been returned to jail after he breached a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

Karl Townsend, 49, was released from prison in March and was living in Emscote Road, Warwick.

He had served a 10-year extended sentence for sexual assault on an adult woman and a history of similar attacks

Upon his release he was made subject to a SOPO that, amongst other things, prohibited him from ‘loitering in any place’.

On 10 June, Townsend’s monitoring tag showed him leaving his home and walking into Leamington where he spent time in Victoria Park and the Pump Room Gardens.

Within 35 minutes Townsend was arrested in Warwick New Road, Leamington.

On arrest it was clear he had put on a dark coloured hairpiece during this time, it is thought to disguise himself.

Appearing at Warwick Crown Court last week he was jailed for 28 months.

July 2002

Chilling history of churchyard attack

A man who dragged a terrified young woman into a Leamington churchyard and molested her has a history of similar attacks and has already been ordered to register for life as a sex offender.

Karl Townsend, aged 28, now of Emscote Road, Warwick, pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to attempting to rape the young woman during the incident in April.

But he did admit indecently assaulting her.

His pleas were accepted by prosecutor Mohammed Latif.

The 21-year-old victim was grabbed from behind as she walked past Leamington?s parish church late at night and was dragged into the churchyard.

Townsend was remanded in custody by Judge James Pyke, and warned: ?It would be wrong for you to be anticipating anything other than a substantial prison sentence.?

The offence has a chilling similarity to earlier attacks in Nuneaton for which Townsend was jailed in 1998.

The court then was told Townsend got his sexual kicks from pouncing on women who were walking alone at night.