Suspended jail term for two sex offences

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A SOMERCOTES man considered a danger to young people has been handed a suspended jail term for two sex offences.

Magistrates at Chesterfield heard Robert Taylor, 58, indecently touched two girls, aged 15 and 17, while they visited his home.

Angela Hadfield, prosecuting, said he made personal comments to the older girl. He put his hand on her leg and did not move it for five to ten minutes.

He asked her and her boyfriend about their sex life, saying he had not had sex for seven years.

Taylor also touched the younger girl above her clothing. The court heard she was now having counselling.

“It is felt that he is a general threat to young people,” said Mrs Hadfield.

Taylor, of Coupland Place, initially denied charges of intentionally touching the girls in a sexual manner between last December 10 and January 31, but he changed his plea to guilty on the day of his trial.

He received a six-week jail sentence suspended for 18 months. The justices also imposed an 18-month probation supervision order, with £250 costs.

Taylor was also placed on a Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years and a five-year sexual offences prevention order was imposed, prohibiting him from having unsupervised contact with under-18s.

“He is struggling to come to terms with what happened on those occasions. He was drinking to a considerable extent and he has moderated that,” said John Kavanagh, for Taylor.

“These incidents would have been unpleasant for those involved. There was touching above clothing on both occasions and an attempt to kiss on one occasion.

“But there is no evidence that he enticed them to his address or groomed them in any way. It seems to have been impulsive behaviour.”

Mr Kavanagh added: “There are no complaints from other people in the locality. If police were dealing with a predatory offender I suspect evidence of further matters would have come to light.”

The court heard that Taylor, formerly a self-employed builder, had health issues including mobility problems.