May 2016

Sex offender back before Carlisle court for disruptive behaviour 

A sex offender who made jokes and was disruptive during rehabilitation treatment has been re-sentenced.

Leonard Pears was originally given a community order and told to complete the treatment programme after being sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court in December, 2014. It followed his conviction for three counts of sexual activity with a child.

Pears, 21, was back before the crown court following his lack of co-operation during the course. He admitted failing to provide written evidence to explain his “unacceptable” conduct.

Prosecutor David Birrell told Judge Tony Lancaster: “The course facilitator describes the defendant’s persistent poor engagement and disruptive behaviour.”

Pears made comments such as “We shouldn’t be doing this” and told other participants “You shouldn’t do that”.

After meetings were held to address these incidents, his attitude improved for almost three months. 

But Mr Birrell said Pears then “went back to his old ways”. 

The lawyer told the court: “He was heard to say ‘I would rather be in prison’; ‘Can’t I do community service instead of this?’.”

That prompted the probation service to conclude the order was “unworkable”.

Kim Whittlestone, defending, called Pears “a young man who is naive” and spoke of his “immaturity”. 

“He accepts responsibility for not engaging,” Miss Whittlestone told the court. “He found the course difficult. He did seek to pull his socks up. His behaviour did improve.”

Pears was said to be a registered carer for his father. 

Aware that prison was potentially an alternative punishment, Miss Whittlestone added: “If he is remanded into custody it will cause real difficulties in the family home.”

After hearing the barrister’s mitigation Judge Lancaster ordered Pears, of Ennerdale Terrace, Whitehaven, to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work.

But as he stood in the dock, Pears was told by the judge: “If you don’t do it, I can tell you now the chances are you are going to go through that door (into custody).”