November 2009

Sex offender avoids prison

A MAN has avoided jail after admitting sexual offences involving children.

David Houghton, aged 57, appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to four counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He made the plea on the basis there was no physical contact with the children.

The court heard Houghton played games with a “sexual undercurrent” with a boy and girl aged under 13 between May 2004 and April last year.

Peter McCartney, defending Houghton, who has no previous convictions, said the risk of re-offending was low.

Judge Mark Eades imposed a three-year community order with supervision.

Houghton, of no fixed address, must complete a community sex offenders’ programme and stay on the sex offenders’ register for five years.