December 10 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
A man who breached his sexual offences prevention order for the ninth time by lurking outside a Suffolk school has been spared a further jail term.
Ipswich Crown Court heard if Richard Ling was to be given another prison sentence he could not be ordered to attend a treatment programme for his sexual offending.
Sentencing Ling, Judge John Holt said: “What (your) arrest triggered was a recall to prison. You have been on remand since April 30 and your earliest release date is December 30. You will have effectively served a 15-month sentence.
“That gives me scope to consider the recommendation of the pre-sentence report which was a three-year community order with a requirement to engage in an accredited programme to address your sexual offending.”
The judge added Ling, of High Street, Lowestoft, would also be a strict residency requirement at a probation hostel as part of the order.
Ling, 61, was arrested after an incident in March when two children from Meadow Primary School in Lowestoft arrived home upset about a man outside the school.
Prosecutor Michael Crimp said when their mother and grandmother went to the school they noticed a man walking down the same side of the road as the school is on, before passing it and walking off.
He returned a short time later and went up to the entrance where he watched children in the playground for around five minutes.
Ling - who was on licence at the time after being released from prison - was subsequently arrested.
His history of offending stretches back to 1972 when he was convicted of indecent exposure.
Ling did not offend again until 2004 when he committed gross indecency with a child.
In 2006 a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) was made following a conviction for disorderly behaviour after he exposed himself to young children.
In August 2007 Ling engaged in sexual activity in the presence of young children.
In August 2009 he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for breaching his SOPO which prohibited loitering near a public place.
In June 2010 he breached his SOPO on two occasions by hanging around a primary school.
Four further breaches occurred between September 2010 and December 2011.
Asking the judge to spare Ling prison his barrister Hugh Vass said: “If he keeps going in and out of prison his track record suggests it won’t get to the root of his offending.”
In addition to Ling’s community order for admitting breaching his SOPO he must pay £60 to the victims’ fund.