A CONVICTED sex offender from St Blazey has been spared jail after he admitted breaching a court order by having regular contact with a ten-year-old child.
In 2008, at Birmingham Crown Court, Steven Fencott was convicted of six counts of making and one count of possessing indecent images of children. Following the conviction, he received a court order preventing him from accessing the internet.
The order was amended in 2011 to prevent him from having any unsupervised access to children but Fencott ignored the amendment and had regular contact with a ten-year-old girl over an 18-month period, Truro Crown Court was told. On Friday the court heard that Fencott, of Middleway, St Blazey, had become close to a family he had met through a local church and began dating the young girl’s auntie.
“Despite the relationship between Fencott and the sister breaking down, the defendant remained friends with the brother and continued to see the children,” said Elaine Hobson, for the prosecution.
At one time Fencott drove the girl to school when the father was having difficulty finding childcare, Miss Hobson told the court.
Michael Gregson, for the defence, said Fencott, who pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching the order, did not set out to deceive the family.
“He was friends with the family before the amendment to the order was made,” Mr Gregson said.
“The breach was unintentional.
“No complaint has been made by the family about his contact towards the children,” Mr Gregson stressed.
The court heard that when the police informed the family about Mr Fencott’s previous convictions they were devastated and the friendship came to an end.
Sentencing Fencott, Judge John Neligan told him: “You are charged with breaching a sexual offences prevention order that was imposed upon you on March 26, 2008, by Birmingham Crown Court, following your pleas of guilty to accessing and downloading child pornography.
“The order was varied on April 4, 2011, to prevent you from being in the company of any child in the absence of a supervising adult who knew about your previous conviction.
“Right through to 2012 you were in effect in breach of this sexual prevention order by having access to a young girl.
“There is no evidence that you set out to make contact with the young child and you were friends with the family before the order was varied.
“That saves you from an immediate term of imprisonment.”
Giving credit for Fencott’s guilty pleas, Judge Neligan sentenced him to 26 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 60 hours’ unpaid work. He was told to pay an £80 victim surcharge.
Mr Neligan said: “A message needs to go out loud and clear that orders made by the court are there to be obeyed.”