Lockdown Good Samaritan is revealed as dangerous child sex offender
A dangerous child abuser has been jailed for using lockdown as a ploy to gain access to young children in a Devon village.
Ian Maunder posed as a good neighbour who offered to help with shopping trips but then took a four-year-old girl with him in his car.
He went on to take the bored child for a walk to a beauty spot and on a second trip to a supermarket, all during the height of the Covid 19 lockdown in April.
He also agreed to babysit for two other young children for 20 minutes while a single mother delivered a parcel to a friend.
The parents of the children had no idea that he was a dangerous sex offender and were horrified when police told them about his past.
Maunder did not molest any of the children but did hold the little girl’s hand during the walk and his contact put him in breach of a court order which forbids any contact with children.
He had been living near the families for five years since his release from prison but only became friendly with them when he offered to help them during lockdown.
Maunder, aged 54, is a convicted sex offender who was classified as dangerous when he received an indefinite sentence for public protection in 2006.
His first conviction in 1997 was for abusing a young child and the indefinite sentence was imposed after he was found to be part of an international online paedophile network which shared fantasies and images.
He was caught with an enormous collection of images, many showing the rape or serious abuse of very young girls, some of which he distributed.
Maunder, of Old Quarry Drive, Exminster, admitted two breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) and was jailed for a year by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court.
He has been recalled on the previous indefinite sentence for public protection (IPP) which is effectively a life sentence. He will only be released when the parole board are satisfied it is safe to do so, regardless of the new sentence.
The judge told him: “This is a very serious matter indeed. You have known about the restrictions since your release. There was a danger, bearing in mind your earlier offending. It rings extremely loud alarm bells.
“There is no evidence that you committed any sexual offences against these children but the risk was there for all to see and you should never have placed yourself in that position.
“The mothers of the children not only did not know of your offending history, they also did not know that you have already been regarded by the courts as a particularly dangerous offender.
“You should not have been with the girl in any event. You did not maintain social distancing when you held the girl’s hand and sat with her in your car.”
Mr Michael Brown, prosecuting, said Maunder befriended families in the village where he lived by offering to help them during lockdown.
He offered to babysit two children, both aged three, on April 19 and took the four-year-old girl on three outings in his car on April 22. Two lasted about 45 minutes and were to the shops. The third was an hour long walk at a beauty spot.
Mr Brown said: “One witness said he seemed more interested in helping families with children during the lockdown but he could well have been helping others as well.
“One of the mothers said she was extremely concerned that she had trusted him and that if she had known the truth about him, she would never have allowed him near her children.
“The other said she was extremely anxious, upset and distressed when police visited her and the information came to light.”