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Child rapist recalled to prison after new girlfriend contacts police about his past (19 August 2015)

Date: 19/08/2015
Duncan Lewis, Child Care Solicitors, Child rapist recalled to prison after new girlfriend contacts police about his past

A man convicted of child sex offences has been jailed after being released from prison and going on to commit a further offence under the Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

Mark Wood, 39, from Walker Street, Ravensthorpe in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for rape and sexual activity with a child, but was released from custody last year and banned from having unsupervised contact with a child aged under 16 or sleeping at the same address.

Local publisher The Examiner reports that he was re-arrested after the woman he had been seeing called police after finding out about Wood’s previous conviction.

The woman had become suspicious after Wood claimed that he had been falsely accused of raping a young girl. She had trusted him to look after her eight-year-old son on his own on several occasions, after the pair had met on an online dating site.

Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard that they began a relationship “very quickly” and the defendant came to stay at her home address in Rotherham.

The prosecution told the court:

“He did go there on several occasions and she would leave him unsupervised with her child.

“He did tell her he’d been accused of rape of a young girl, but it was all lies.”

However, after Wood made this comment, the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – became suspicious and asked South Yorkshire Police for more information on Wood.

She learned that in November 2008 at Bradford Crown Court her new boyfriend of just six weeks had been jailed for 12 years for rape and sexual activity with a child.

Wood had been released from prison in August 2014 – but still had to comply with the SHPO, as well as his terms as a registered sex offender.

After his arrest, Wood had claimed to be dyslexic and unsure about the conditions of his order.

His defence lawyer told the court:

“He acknowledges he was left with the child unsupervised. This was for short periods of time – for example, when she was at the local shops. There’s no further complaint of a sexual nature against Mr Wood.”

However, the woman has now severed all ties with Wood, who has been recalled to prison. It is now likely he will have to serve the remaining five years of his 12-year conviction.

District Judge Philip Houlden sentence Wood to six months in custody for breaching the Order and told Wood:

“You’ve breached the Order in the first year of its proper life. You misled this lady as to your previous involvement with the courts system.”

Judge Houlden also made an indefinite restraining order banning Wood from contacting his former girlfriend or going to her home.

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