May 2021

Pervert jailed for Hartlepool attack makes horse show plea to judge

A remorseless pervert may be allowed to attend horse shows that are popular with children when he is released from a five-year jail term for sex assaulting a teen

Darren Inkpen, who poses a “high risk of serious harm” to children, has been ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life following the Hartlepool offences and will have to abide by an indefinite sexual harm prevention order to restrict his access to potential victims.

During his sentencing hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, the 50-year-old, who appeared via video link from prison, complained that the restrictions could prevent his attendance at miniature horse shows.

The sexual harm prevention order would forbid contact with children without express approval from the authorities.

Inkpen told the court: “I work with miniature horses in the summer, miniature horse shows.

“There’s always children around, how’s that going to work?”

Judge Robert Adams initially told him he may be allowed to attend the shows, saying: “I think that would be allowed, you are perfectly entitled to conduct your lawful daily life but mustn’t have any contact with any children under 18 unless inadvertent.

“That shouldn’t be a difficulty, unless of course it’s a horse show put on specifically for children.”

Judge Adams said if the event was specifically “laid on for children” then Inkpen must not attend.

Inkpen added: “I help an adult out, help out with them but there’s always kids there. The kids show their horses as well.”

Judge Adams said the exact terms will be finalised at a hearing next month and added: “I don’t want to get drawn into a discussion about horse shows.”

Inkpen, of Woodview Road, Beeston, Leeds, had admitted three sexual assault offences in relation to an attack he carried out in the Hartlepool area.

The court heard the victim was left “shaking” after her shocking ordeal.

Inkpen has since denied the offences to probation officials, despite his guilty pleas, and has been assessed to pose a “high risk of causing serious harm to children and vulnerable women”.