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Sex offender is given a chance by court after he breached requirements for the third time

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Magistrates have given a convicted sex offender a chance after he breached requirements for a third time by failing to register with police that he was homeless.

Darren Michael Morton, 50, of no fixed abode, failed to inform police within seven days that he was of no fixed abode following his release from prison for an unrelated offence.

Prosecuting solicitor Lynn Bickley told a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing on Wednesday, June 6: “The defendant is currently on the sex offenders’ register as a result of a conviction, from December, 2014, and one requirement is if he is of no fixed abode he has to register in seven days.

“And if a new address is found the new address has to be registered in three days.

“The defendant breached these requirements on May 6 as he failed to re-register he was of no fixed abode and he had not registered since April 29, this year.”

The court heard that Morton made full admissions and that he has two previous convictions for failing to comply with requirements.

Morton pleaded guilty to failing to comply with requirements as an offender under the Sexual Offences Act by failing to register as being homeless within seven days.

Defence solicitor Robert Sowter said: “He was released in April for an unrelated offence and while he was in custody his father had passed away.

“He was struggling to sort out a home and benefits.

“He knew it was wrong and he should not have done it but he has since been registering every day with the police.”

Police took the unusual step to release Morton on bail after his arrest, according to Mr Sowter, but the defendant has since continued to register with Derbyshire Constabulary every day.

The court heard Morton is still homeless but he has a care-of address where he can get mail and he has been able to set up universal credit benefits.

Mr Sowter added: “He has had a difficult life leading to a lot of convictions.”

Magistrates sentenced Morton, who has a court listed address as Campbell Drive, Barrow Hill, Chesterfield, to a two-year conditional discharge but he was warned that if he commits another offence during this period he will be re-sentenced for this breach and any new matter.

He was also ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.