Sex offender’s ‘utter contempt’

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A sex offender deported from the United States to the UK has been jailed for nine months for treating a registration order with “utter contempt”.

In November 2007 Damon Betterton was convicted by a court in Michigan, USA, of sexual activity involving sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 18, and given 180 days in prison and three years probation. He went on to be handed a further year’s jail for breaching the terms of the probation order.

Following his deportation back to the UK he was made the subject of notification requirements regarding the Sex Offenders’ Register. The 26-year-old had pleaded guilty to three offences of failing to comply with the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Preston Crown court heard the order to inform police of any change of address is in place until 2017.

Betterton had registered his address as Ashburton Road. Between dates in June and October, Betterton took out a tenancy on a property on Grosvenor Street, Blackpool.

In July he formed a two-week relationship with a woman who had a six-year-old son. He stayed most nights at her home.

Again, he failed to notify the authorities of a change in his address. He went on to appear at Blackpool magistrates court and admitted the two offences. He was granted bail, but did not return to the address at Ashburton Road.

Instead, on October 15 he was living with a new partner at an address on High Street. He spoke of having forgotten to register his new address with the police. Judge Robert Altham added: “I have absolutely no doubt you hold the obligations that you have on your registration in utter contempt.

“It seems to me these breaches are so flagrant and so serious that only a sentence of custody can be justified.”