Sex offender jailed after failing to tell cops he was now living in a tent

A sex-offender with previous convictions for sexual activity with a child and exposing himself has been put behind bars after he failed to report a change of address to the police.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 9:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 3:48 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on June 7 how Thomas Braithwaite, aged 25, of no fixed abode, had been living at Centrepoint, in Barnsley – which helps the homeless - but he claimed he was forced to leave the hostel because other residents found out about his previous convictions.

Edward Moss, prosecuting, said Braithwaite was originally made subject to police notification requirements in September, 2014, for seven years but after he was further convicted of sexual offences in November, 2017, the notification requirements to inform police of any change of address were extended until November, 2027.

Mr Moss added that after Braithwaite served a custodial sentence in November, 2020, he was registered as living at Centrepoint, in Barnsley, but by January, 2021, he had moved and he had failed to inform and notify the authorities.

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Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, heard how a sex-offender who failed to inform police about a change of address has been jailed.

He said: “There are numerous convictions for breaching notification requirements and from his antecedent history he has a flagrant disregard for court orders of any type.”

Braithwaite pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the sex-offender notification requirements by failing to inform police of a change of address.

Rebecca Stevens, defending, said: “He was to reside at the Centrepoint hostel but unfortunately he had been targeted there because they had found out about his convictions.

"He left and ended-up living in a tent on the outskirts of Rotherham and he has to accept it was a deliberate breach because he did not inform the police of his whereabouts.”

Ms Stevens added that Braithwaite wishes to receive a custodial sentence because he believes custody will provide him the opportunity to get free of a long-term heroin addiction.

She said: “He speaks of wasting the last five years of his life and he is making considerable progress while in custody.”

Judge David Dixon, who pointed out that Braithwaite has previous convictions for exposing himself and for sexual activity with a child, sentenced him to 13 months of custody.