Convicted sex offender who bombarded his Probation Officer with 'grossly offensive' messages is ordered to do Community Service

Convicted sex offender who bombarded his Probation Officer with 'grossly offensive' messages is ordered to do Community Service

A CONVICTED sex offender from the Comber area who was given Probation and then harassed his Probation Officer by sending her 100 "grossly offensive" messages over a two month period has now been ordered to do 60 hours of Community Service.

Newtownards Magistrates' Court previously heard that in one message Aaron Patterson (24), of Quarry Road, said: 'I think I will incite sex with some more children'.

The court heard the harassment of the Probation Officer took place between December last year and February 15 this year.

A prosecution lawyer told an earlier hearing the defendant was previously sentenced to Probation in relation to a "sexual offence" and his Probation Officer reported to police she had received text messages of an "indecent nature" from Patterson.

The Probation Officer had told the defendant to stop sending her the messages but they continued.

District Judge Mark Hamill told the earlier court that last August the defendant was dealt with at a Crown Court for being an adult 'causing or inciting a child between the age of 13 and 16 to engage in sexual activity'.

At the Crown Court, Patterson had also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for five years.

Also at the Crown Court Patterson had been given 75 hours of Community Service and put on Probation for two years with a condition that he attended the Probation Board's Intensive Supervision Unit or another venue to actively participate in a programme designed to address 'sexually abusive behaviour'.

A prosecutor recently told Newtownards Magistrates' Court Patterson then had sent "abusive, grossly offensive, sexualised, indecent messages" to his Probation Officer.

A defence lawyer confirmed the messages were "grossly offensive" and 57 pages of evidence had been prepared for the Magistrates' Court.

Judge Hamill said one message from Patterson to the Probation Officer had read: 'I hope you don't mind me sharing this information, it is quite private.'

He continued to reveal the contents of Patterson's message in which the defendant had said: 'I just felt it might be appropriate to tell you since you are my Probation Officer since I am on the Sex Offenders' Register for inciting sex with a child. I think I will incite sex with some more children'.

Patterson's message then contained an offensive reference.

The judge said the message to the Probation Officer had continued: 'That's what I am going to be trying to do, just keeping you in the loop. I hope you don't mind me sharing these details with you, I think it is important'.

The court heard Patterson had sent around 100 messages to the Probation Officer.

The judge had said: "Within four months of getting the Probation he abuses the Probation Officer. He refers to his intention to continue with his proclivities".

The defence lawyer said Patterson had also made "very inappropriate enquiries into the personal life of the Probation Officer and that is the politest way I think can put it".

The defence lawyer had said he had sought a psychiatric report on Patterson and there was "evidence of a mental health background and physical lesions on his brain".

The defence lawyer had previously asked for sentencing in the harassment case to be adjourned for a Probation report.

Judge Hamill had said it was with "some hesitation" he was putting it back for a Probation report "because I do have to expose now another Probation Officer to the potential abuse from this man".

The earlier case had been adjourned to mid-May.

The judge had said he wanted a summary of the "bile" directed by Patterson to the Probation Officer.

The defence lawyer said the defendant was on "very strict bail conditions".

The defendant's bail conditions included a 9pm-7am curfew; no access to a mobile phone or electronic device with access to the internet; reports twice a week to police; shall not consume alcohol at any time or in any place; must contact his GP 'to arrange a course of treatment that will assist him in dealing with his addictions and mental health issues'.

The case has now come back at Newtownards Magistrates' Court where a defence lawyer said at the Crown Court, Patterson had been re-sentenced on April 27 when the original Crown Court Combination Order was revoked and replaced with a nine months jail sentence, suspended for three years;  the Sex Offenders' Register requirement was extended to ten years and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order of five years was made.

A prosecutor outlined some of the vile messages the defendant had sent to the Probation Officer.

A defence lawyer said a psychiatrist said Patterson was one of the most "complex" people they had seen in 40 years.

Judge Hamill said he had previously "hit the roof" when he heard a breach of a Crown Court Order was being dealt with in the Magistrates' Court.

He said Patterson should not be "inflicted" on another Probation Officer and ordered him to do 60 hours of Community Service.

Judge Hamill told Patterson if he repeated the offences against another "public servant" he would be jailed.