A SEX offender who breached one of his SOPO (Sexual Offences Prevention Order) terms after befriending another sex offender in Fermanagh has been jailed for three months.
38-year-old Paul James Clark pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before Fermanagh court via video link.
The pervert admitting striking up a friendship with the sex offender despite one of SOPO terms stating that he is not to associate with a known or suspected sex offender.
The court heard that Clark was convicted of two counts of rape and one of assault in 1998 in Kingston-Upon-Thames Magistrates Court in south west London.
In Monday’s court it was heard that in April of this year the public protection unit was contacted after a sex offender in Fermanagh had mentioned the defendant’s name to his risk manager and that he had struck up a friendship with him.
Calls to the sex offender’s home were made and on October 16 police officers returned to the property in The Brook in Enniskillen at around 8pm and noticed Clark, of Hollywell, Dwayne in Roscommon in the sex offender’s company.
He was arrested for the breach and replied: “I forgot that was on it, I was only with him a short time.”
During police interview Clark denied knowing he was a sex offender.
However his defence barrister Joe McCann said that his client admitted at the first stage to the offences and highlighted a guideline that reduces a SOPO breach sentence by over a third if the defendant admits their guilt.
Mr McCann also added that he believed there was no fundamental breach to the SOPO but that it was a technical breach.
The court heard that both sex offenders met each other in the South while the pair were living in Roscommon, but while the SOPO terms banning him from associating with known sex offenders apply in the North, they do not in the South.
The court heard that Clark, who has been in custody for the last two months, had been jailed for breaching his SOPO on two previous occasions.
The sex offender failed to tell police of his change of address when he was homeless and on a second occasion when he fell in with a family who had children in the house and was jailed for nine months.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said that based on the facts before him, he did not agree that it was a technical breach.
“Having taken all matters into consideration I sentence him to three months in prison.”
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