November 2020

Convicted child predator back behind bars for breaching order

A convicted sex offender who failed to tell police where he was staying has been sent to prison.

Christopher Boardwell was placed on the sex offender’s register in 2015 when he appeared in court for child sex offences.

One of the requirements of that order was to always inform the police of any changes of address – something he failed to do earlier this year and has now been sent to jail for.

Prosecuting the case, Isobel Thomas said: “The original requirement stemmed from a conviction in 2015, when he was convicted of trying to convince a female under the age of 13 to engage in penetrative activity.

“That offence took place in 2012 and the case involved interaction between the defendant and girls as young as 12 in chat rooms. In one case he encourages a girl to perform sexual acts on herself via a webcam. He was sentenced for 18 months, suspended for 24 months, and was placed on the register for 10 years.

“One of those conditions was that he must notify the police of any change in address. The defendant was also subject to regular visits to check risk and compliance.

“On February 7, the defendant had notified the police that he was residing in Padiham with his dad. On the 29th of August, two officers went to that address and spoke to the defendant’s father, who informed them he had not stayed there for several months and believed him to be living with his girlfriend.

“It was established from his father that the girlfriend was called Jodie and he agreed to call him asking him to contact the police.”

Preston Crown Court (Sessions House) heard how Boardwell was contacted by officers and he admitted to them that he had been staying with his girlfriend in Warrington.

He was arrested the next day and taken in for questioning, where he made admissions that he had moved out of his dad’s house due to the coronavirus pandemic.His girlfriend told the police that she had been made aware of his previous convictions and there were no children living in the address.  

Ms Thomas went on to say that Boardwell, formerly of Barrowford Road, Padiham, but now living in Warrington, had been jailed in the past breaching the the order – including on one occasion where he created a Facebook profile to contact a young girl.

Defending him, James Heyworth said that Boardwell had become a ‘more productive’ member of society since he last left custody in 2017.

He said: “He has worked with the probation service and has moved on with his life, getting qualifications. He is in employment; he is a team leader at a company in Warrington. They are aware of this appearance.

“If your honour feels that this is a sentence that cannot be suspended, I invited you to keep it as short as possible.”

Jailing Broadwell for 14 months for the breach, Judge Graham Knowles QC said: “You knew you were subject to restrictions and you chose to ignore them.”

He added: “You are just the kind of person the police need to keep very close tabs on, not one that should vanish leading them to track you down.”