Convicted paedophile sends himself to prison

Derek Jones
Derek Jones

A convicted paedophile and former military man effectively sent himself to jail after spurning a judge’s offer of probation assistance.

Derek Jones, 46, said probation officers were “liars” and that he didn’t want the benefit of a pre-sentence report which could potentially have saved him from a jail sentence.

Instead, Jones, from Scarborough, was given an eight-month prison stretch for breaching the terms of a sexual-registration notification order which behoved him to inform police of his whereabouts.

York Crown Court heard that Jones went missing from his home in Scarborough without informing police.

He was staring at an immediate jail sentence for the flagrant breach but had the chance to save himself merely by agreeing to a probation report before sentence.

Before passing sentence, Judge Paul Batty QC offered Jones the assistance of the Probation Service.

“Would you like a probation officer to produce a report for you?” he asked Jones.

“No, because they talk a load of lies,” said Jones from the video-link screen.

“Given the stance you have taken, it gives me little alternative but to impose a custodial sentence,” replied Mr Batty QC.

“I don’t want to impose a custodial sentence upon you if I can avoid it, but if you don’t co-operate with the Probation Service I really leaves me with no option. And you are prepared for that, are you?”

“Yes,” replied Jones.

Jones, of no fixed abode, chose to represent himself because he didn’t want the assistance of lawyers.

He admitted one count of failing to comply with notification requirements on August 8 in that he had ended his tenancy at flats in Peel Terrace, Scarborough.

Prosecutor Rob Galley said Jones sent a letter to the Salvation Army in June saying he was suicidal and that he had left his address.

Police were informed and it appeared at first blush that Jones had taken a coach to Farnborough in Hampshire via Victoria Station in London.

But shortly afterwards he was found in Glasgow where he was convicted of carrying a knife and given a 30-day prison sentence at the city’s Sheriff’s Court in August.

He was arrested by North Yorkshire Police in September and brought in for questioning, but remained silent throughout the interview, said Mr Galley.

In 2015, Jones was jailed for 16 months, given a sexual-harm prevention order and made subject to a notification order of indefinite length after being convicted of possessing and distributing indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornographic shots.

Jones had previous convictions for offences including theft and publishing obscene material in 1988, when he was a juvenile.

Jones said he had post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the army and had had suicidal thoughts.

Mr Batty QC said Jones had gone “under the radar” by failing to inform police of his whereabouts following his child-porn conviction.

“It’s impossible to avoid a custodial sentence given that you have told me that, quite frankly, you would not co-operate with the Probation Service,” added the judge.

Jones was jailed for eight months