A HIGH risk sex offender has been jailed for going off the police’s radar after being released from Dartmoor Prison.
Christopher McNamara returned to Plymouth and was living rough in Devonport when police arrested him on July 30 this year for failing to notify them of his whereabouts.
He had just been freed half way through an 18-month sentence for a terrifying attack on a lone woman in Central Park, Plymouth, in which he put his hand over her mouth and tried to drag her into bushes.
He has a history of sexual offending which goes back to 2010 and includes three other assaults. He has 89 convictions, including one for a street robbery and many for petty thefts or drunkenness.
McNamara was released from jail on July 17 this year and was required to register with police within 72 hours because he is on the sex offenders’ register.
He failed to do so but claimed be on his way to Devonport Police Station when he was arrested. It was the ninth time that he has broken the rules about registration.
McNamara, aged 38, of no fixed address, Plymouth, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of the sex offenders’ register and was jailed for eight months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.
He told him: 'You knew full well what you needed to do and were ten days late when you were arrested, whether or not you were on your way to the appropriate police station.
'This was a deliberate failure to comply. It is not easy to determine the harm that was at risk of being caused. Your record shows you pose at least a considerable risk to the public.
'That means that the police need to keep a close eye on your whereabouts and it is your responsibility and not theirs to tell them, even if you did not have a fixed address.'
Mr Thomas Bradnock, prosecuting, said McNamara was required to notify police of his address within three days of his release but failed to do so. He has eight previous convictions for the same thing.
People who are homeless are still required to contact the police and go to a front desk at a police station at regular intervals to tell them where they are sleeping rough.
He said McNamara was put on the register in 2010 for a sexual assault on a woman and committed further offences in 2013, 2014, and 2021, the latter being for an assault in Central Park, Plymouth.
The attack, near the entrance to the Forde Park cemetery, was on a woman walking to get a Covid vaccine in October 2021 and left her traumatised.
McNamara admitted battery with intent to commit a sexual offence and was jailed for 18 months by Judge William Mousley, KC, at Plymouth Crown Court in February last year.
Mr Rupert Taylor, defending, said McNamara has personal difficulties which derive from suffering a brain injury during a violent assault when he was younger.
He has struggled to cope with the sex offenders’ registration regime on the many occasions when he has been released from prison with nowhere to live.