June 2020: Recorder Jonathan Aitken, at Newcastle Crown Court imposed a suspended prison sentence

Sex offender back in prison after failing to tell woman about his past

A sex offender who hid his past from a single mum of two is spending Christmas in prison.

Richard Robert Arthur, 34, from the Felling area of Gateshead, was convicted in July 2010 of meeting a child under the age of 16 years following sexual grooming.

Last month the police learnt that Arthur was breaching the conditions of his sentence by repeatedly failing to declare his whereabouts and striking up a relationship with a woman who he had met online.

The unsuspecting mum was unaware of his past until she was contacted by someone who knew of Arthur’s sex offender status.

The mum has now praised Northumbria Police for their swift action and support.

She said: “A man like him has no place in my, or anyone’s, family home.

“When I ended things, he wouldn’t take no for an answer and then began harassing me. Luckily, I had the support and protection of Northumbria Police, who not only helped keep my family safe but supported me through the process and I know they are only a phone call away.

After learning about his past, she finished the relationship and banned all contact but Arthur started a campaign of harassment against her.

He was arrested for breaching his sex offender notification requirements and for domestic abuse harassment and was given a seven-month suspended sentence.

But after continuing to contact the woman, he was rearrested and has been remanded in custody after pleading guilty to breaching a harassment order when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on December 13. He is awaiting sentencing.

Sgt Elliot Richardson, the investigating officer, is appealing for other women who may have come into contact with Arthur to come forward.

He said: “I would like to thank the victim in this case, who was clearly very concerned when she learned of Richard Arthur’s past.

“She has shown a great deal of resilience throughout and I am pleased that we have been able to secure a conviction.”