It’s been a busy week at York Crown Court. Here’s a summary of some of the cases dealt with this week:
Paul Crowther, 36, from Batley, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of “talented” York student Bethany Fields after being diagnosed with schizophrenia following her death.
DANGEROUS: Paul Crowther
Judge Tom Bayliss QC described Crowther as a “very dangerous man indeed” as he ordered him to be detained in hospital as part of his minimum sentence of 12 years.
Judge Bayliss told Leeds Crown Court that Miss Fields described the defendant as “manipulative, abusive and controlling”.
He said: “She told police that the abuse, which was initially low key, began to intensify.”
The court heard that Crowther had suffered from mental health issues for a number of years and had been detained in hospital several times after threatening suicide, having thoughts about killing others and hearing voices.
Judge Bayliss said: “Bethany Fields did what she could to help him with his mental health issues but it all became too much for her to cope with and she ended their relationship.”
- A paedophile’s son has been jailed for more than five years after planning to abuse a young girl while her uncle watched.
Simon Leonard Mewse, 36, made a two-hour journey to Skipwith Common south of York to meet the pair with condoms in his car, said Dan Cordey, prosecuting.
The 36-year-old had sent videos of children as young as three being abused to the “uncle” via online chat apps.
JAILED: Simon Leonard Mewse
But the “uncle” was an undercover police officer, the eight-year-old “niece” didn’t exist and Mewse was arrested.
The 36-year-old had also had similar conversations online with another undercover police officer about the officer’s non-existent 10-year-old daughter and also sent him videos of children being sexually abused, Mr Cordey told York Crown Court.
Defence solicitor advocate Kevin Blount said Mewse would not have actually carried out the abuse.
He had wanted to investigate child sexual abuse because his father had recently been jailed for child sex offences.
Judge Simon Hickey told Mewse: “That should have warned you off completely from these sorts of offences.”
The 36-year-old had gone to Skipwith Common with the intention of “effectively raping” an eight-year-old girl.
“I don’t accept you would not have gone through with it,” said the judge.
He jailed Mewse for five years and three months, plus a two year extension, put him on the sex offenders’ register for life and made him subject to a lifetime sexual harm prevention order banning him from contacting children and enabling police to monitor his use of the internet.
- A MAN who tried to persuade a boy to skip school to have sex with him was snared by a police regional organised crime unit.
Owen John Druett, 22, sent sexual online messages to “Noah”, said Michele Stuart-Lofthouse, prosecuting.
He also messaged: “Can’t you leave school and come here?” and “Come to my door, I will leave it unlocked, just come straight in.”
But the person he believed was a 12-year-old boy was really a member of the Yorkshire and Humberside Police Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Detectives arrested him near his home and found indecent pictures of children as young as 18 months on his mobile phone.
He told them he used them for sexual gratification.
Recorder Margia Mostafa told Druett about “Noah”: “You sent him extremely explicit messages, stating you wanted in essence …sexual intercourse with him.”
The reason police carried out such operations was to snare predatory paedophiles such as Druett, the court heard.
“That is what you are, that is what you were doing on the internet,” she said.
Druett, of Pottery Lane, off Malton Road, York, pleaded guilty to attempting to meet a child for sex and three charges of having indecent images of children.
He was given an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years on condition he does a rehabilitation programme lasting up to 90 days, 30 days other rehabilitative activities and 100 hours’ unpaid work.
He was put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order allowing police to monitor his online activities for seven years.
His barrister Fiona Clancy told York Crown Court Druett had committed the offences at a time when he had been exploring his sexuality and when he had been depressed.
He had had a difficult childhood and lacked maturity.
But since his arrest in December 2018, he had had counselling and was supported by his family and friends.