Pervert branded ‘a danger to children’ jailed

A PAEDOPHILE once barred from Hartlepool for the danger he posed to children has been jailed after he was caught preying on youngsters.

High-risk sex offender John Wayne Locke was imprisoned seven years ago for indecently assaulting a boy in Hartlepool.

The 67-year-old was later banned from entering town for two years for failing to tell authorities of his whereabouts after being released from prison.

Now he has been jailed for six months for trying to lure children to his house after he moved back to town.

Justices branded Locke “a danger to the public” after he spoke to a teenager as they walked home.

He also approached two youngsters as they played innocently in a front garden and asked them to take him home.

Locke was banned from speaking to anyone under 18 after being slapped with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) last year to help the authorities monitor his movements and behaviour in the community.

Paula Sanderson, prosecuting, described how Locke approached the teenager in a street last year and asked them the way to the town centre.

Three months earlier he was seen acting suspiciously by a mum when he asked her where his own address was twice in as many days.

Locke returned again eight days later when the same woman’s child was playing with a friend in her front garden.

Miss Sanderson said: “She hid out of sight near to the front door. The defendant got within 20 yards and stopped.

“She could see him looking at the children playing. After a couple of minutes he walked towards them.

“When he said something to her child and their friend, she ran out and asked what he wanted.

“One of them said ‘he’s just asked us to take him to Staithes Court’.

“She immediately got the children inside.”

Locke, who has recently been living in a hostel in South Bank, Middlesbrough, was jailed in 2004 for indecent assault and released on licence in August 2007.

He was back at Teesside Crown Court in the October for failing to tell authorities of his whereabouts.

The judge barred him from entering Hartlepool for the next two years as part of a community order.

An interim SOPO was imposed by Teesside Magistrates’ Court last July, followed by a full order at Teesside Crown Court in September.

Sentencing Locke to 24-weeks prison, chairman of the magistrates’ bench Peter Charlton said: “The reason why we find custody is the only option is because we believe that you are a risk of harm to the public and because of your deliberate breaches of the court orders.”

Neil Taylor, mitigating, said: “It’s clear he is going to be very strictly monitored for a long, long time.

“That will include where he lives, who he meets and continuous supervision by the probation department.”

On his release, Locke, formerly of Staithes Court, Hartlepool, will be monitored through the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

Detective Chief Inspector Peter McPhillips, head of public protection for Cleveland Police, said: “Cleveland Police work with probation and other agencies to monitor sex offenders in the community under MAPPA, restrictions on their behaviour and lifestyle will be managed through the licence conditions they may have when they are released from prison and by the use of SOPOs.”