Breached sex order at church

By by Court Reporter newsdesk@iomtoday.co.im Twitter: @iomnewspapers in Crime

A Ramsey man who is the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order has been convicted of breaching its terms.

Raymond Carl Butler, of Mooragh Promenade, admitted working at a church, which is sometimes used by children, and failing to inform police.

Butler was sentenced to 70 hours’ community service by a magistrates’ court, to be completed in the next 12 months, and ordered to pay £125 prosecution costs.

The court heard how, in March 2011, the 53-year-old was convicted of possessing indecent images of children and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years at the Court of General Gaol Delivery.

He was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) until further notice.

One of the conditions of the order is that Butler must inform police of any changes in his occupation and must not loiter near any nursery, primary or secondary school, designated play areas or areas frequented by children.

Prosecutor Barry Swain told the court how, on March 23 at 11am, police attended the Church on the Rock in Prince’s Road in Ramsey.

’Mums and Tots’ sessions are held there between 9am and 11am during the week.

When police arrived there were still some children present and when they went upstairs Butler was found in an office.

He was arrested and made no reply after being cautioned.

The pastor at the church told police that Butler had been working at the church as a voluntary caretaker since September 2016.

He said that he was aware Butler was on the Sex Offenders’ Register but did not know about any particular conditions.

When interviewed, Butler told police that he thought by only being upstairs in the building he was not breaching the order.

He admitted that he had gone downstairs but said it was never when children were present.

Butler conceded that his communication with probation services and the police had been poor.

Defending Butler in court, his advocate Stephen Wood asked that his client be given credit for his co-operation with police and immediate guilty plea.

Mr Wood said: ’My client had assumed the role of caretaker after the previous one left. He had been involved in a renovation project at the church and was asked to step in.

’He should have realised, even though it was unpaid employment, he should have told his managing officer.

’There is no suggestion he has actively been going downstairs and being close to children. In future he’ll ensure he is out of the building.’