Crook wanted a return to jail

A homeless sex offender deliberately failed to notify the police he had been released from jail because he wanted to be back behind bars, a court heard.

Monday, 17th July 2017, 11:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:36 am
Wigan Magistrates' Court

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court was told Stephen Cox, of no fixed address, did not notify the police station that he was no longer in custody.

Cox, who had to discuss his whereabouts with officers as he is on the Sex Offenders’ Register, told police in interview that it was easier for him to live in prison than out in the community.

Prosecuting, Alan Bakker said: “The facts speak for themselves.

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“He was released on June 29 and had a notification requirement to attend a police station within three days.

“He said in interview that he simply wants to go back to prison because he gets fed while he is there and there is nothing on the outside for him.”

The court heard that Cox, 49, had a string of similar convictions for failing to comply with orders to register his movements with police.

Defending, Bob Toppin said it was a desperate case and Cox felt he had nowhere else to go.

Mr Toppin said: “Through his own wishes my client has painted himself into a corner.

“This is precisely what he wants.

“It’s a sad indictment of the way he lives.

“He’s tried to get accommodation and sort his life out but every which way he looks there are obstacles.

“Eventually the best decision, as far as he is concerned, is not to sign the register because he will get locked up and there will be accommodation and regular meals, something he doesn’t have outside prison.

“He is alright in prison, comes out and exactly the same problems surround him.

“All I can suggest is that prison doesn’t appear to do anything other than provide accommodation.”

The magistrates ordered Cox to return to custody for four months and said he would have to pay a victim’s surcharge of £115 within 28 days of his release.