March 2011

Paedophile is returned to prison

A PAEDOPHILE previously jailed for three years is back behind bars for failing to tell the police where he lives.

Lee Barnecutt, 27, was sent to prison in 2005 for the serious sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. And last week at Truro Crown Court he admitted breaching the requirements of the Sex Offenders’ Register and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

It was the second such breach by Barnecutt, of Forthcrom, Gweek, said Joss Ticehurst, for the prosecution. He had disappeared off the register last October and his whereabouts were unknown until he reported to Camborne police station on January 17.

Previously, he had been cautioned in May 2008 for breaching the SOPO by living with a woman who had an under-age daughter, and in March 2009 he was jailed for 120 days for failing to notify his address.

Terry Eastwood, for the defence, said that Barnecutt was not a sexual predator but a man who had made a dreadful mistake when on one occasion he had consensual sexual intercourse with a girl who had told him she was 16. He had been living and working in Exeter but had to leave his home and live in his car for a time because of the stares and glares from neighbours.

In October last year he was so overworked that he had overlooked registering his whereabouts, but in January he became reconciled with his father and the day after moving in with him had gone to the police.

Barnecutt had obtained work at the Trelworren estate restaurant who knew of his past and were supporting him by paying for his attendance at college once a week to build a career.

“If he goes to prison today that will all fall apart,” said Mr Eastwood.

Recorder Brian Lett told Barnecutt that he must have known from his past experiences that he had to register. “You may resent it but the requirement is part of the law and it governs your life to protect the public,” he said when jailing him for six months.