‘Freaky’ sex offender breached court order

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A SEX offender convicted after attacking a pensioner was said to have made advances to a frightened schoolgirl in an alley, a court heard.

Adam Collier had been jailed for four years in 2004 after he pounced on the petrified, lone 71-year-old, knocked her to the ground and molested her. The “horrendous” night- time terror attack in Nelson had caused great fear amongst residents of the town at the time. When Collier was locked up after pleading guilty to indecent assault, he had been assessed as posing a danger to the public and had been given four years’ extended licence.

Collier, now said to be at “ high risk” of committing sex offences, was back in the dock at Burnley Crown Court on Thursday after flouting an interim sexual offences prevention order made on April 5th by Pennine magistrates. The defendant had been banned from having deliberate contact with any female under 16, but was said to have targeted a 15-year-old, who been with two younger friends, within weeks. The defendant was alleged to have tried to kiss the teenager and to have “invited her to take part in sexual activity.” But Collier, who was to claim he thought she was 20, said he didn’t fully understand the order . He insisted he had had no sexual intentions towards the trio.

The hearing was told how under the SOPO, which was made into a final order by magistrates last month, Collier is also not allowed to enter or remain in any retail outlet with two or less females working there. The civil order was said to have been made after intelligence to the police. The defendant was alleged to have touched a woman’s bottom in a boutique.

Collier, who has lived at Roberts Street, Nelson and at Dall Street, Burnley, and has recently been in a hostel, admitted breaching the SOPO. Judge Andrew Woolman gave him a six-month jail term, but he has already served it on remand.

Miss Laura Barbour (prosecuting) said on May 13th, Collier approached three girls, two aged 14 and the 15-year-old, outside a phone box in Colne. He asked their names, ages and where they lived and one of the 14-year-olds described him as sounding a “bit freaky.” She was scared and shaking.

The defendant then followed the three teenagers, the two younger girls began to run and the 15-year-old was about 30 feet behind them. She felt uncomfortable and frightened and Collier came right up beside her in the passageway and started to talk to her.

Miss Barbour said Collier allegedly asked the girl to go out with him, she refused and he invited her to “chill” with him and asked her for a kiss. One of the girls contacted her father and Collier walked off. Police were called and an officer identified Collier as the suspect and viewed CCTV of the area. The defendant was questioned on May 24th, and denied being the man in the footage. He claimed he had exchanged a few words with the “older woman” and told officers she had “proper fancied him.”

Mr John Woodward, for Collier, said he had not committed any sexual offences since 2004. He was said to pose a high risk of doing so. Collier would say he didn’t fully understand the terms of the order.

The defendant believed one of the girls was a woman. The barrister continued: “He denies engaging them for any sexual purpose.”

Mr Woodward said the offence against the 71-year- old woman was very serious and horrendous. He added: “It’s no wonder the police are monitoring him in this very careful way.”

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman told Collier: “I am quite sure you understood what the order means. It was a quite deliberate breach of the order.

“People are concerned about your sexual activities, but I can only sentence you for what you have done.”