A CONVICTED sex offender befriended a family with children who were unaware of his sordid past.
Ian Morton, 24, had been trusted and allowed to babysit.
At Mold Crown Court Morton, of Hampden Road, Wrexham, admitted breaching the conditions of his sex register by failing to tell police where he was staying and breaching his SOPO (sexual offences prevention order) by having unsupervised access with children.
He was jailed for 10 months at Mold Crown Court.
It was stressed no fresh offences had occurred and his barrister, Mark Connor, said there was no evidence his client had been grooming any of the children.
He said Morton simply craved to be part of a family, which was something he had not had while growing up.
But the court heard the complainants were shocked and felt badly let down when they learnt of his past.
Prosecutor Emmalyne Downing said in 2005, when Morton was a teenager, he had a five year sentence for the rape of a child.
He was released in 2010 and became friendly with a family.
As time went on he was trusted to visit, stay overnight and to baby sit.
At no time were they aware of his previous convictions for rape and other sexual offences. When they were informed by the authorities they felt shocked, saddened and betrayed.
Mr Connor said a probation officer in a pre-sentence report had assumed Morton had been grooming a child but he said the court could not safely come to such a conclusion.
Morton was only 13 and 15 when he was convicted of sex offences and since that date there had been no repetition.
His victims at the time were at about the same age and there was nothing to say Morton had an interest in children.
The reality was Morton had a tough start in life, he had a difficult relationship with his mother, he had no father figure and he was brought up in the care system.
“He is a young man who desired to have some sort of family or create some kind of family around him,” Mr Connor explained.
It was an error of judgement by a young man who did not think it through properly.
He suggested a suspended sentence.
Judge Philip Hughes said Morton had been convicted of rape in 2005 and had earlier sexual convictions going back to 2002.
On his release from a five year sentence he managed to manoeuvre himself into a family with children.
He would visit, stay over and babysit plainly in contravention of the court orders which had been made.
Morton had pleaded guilty, he had not committed any new offences but he did break the law by breaching the orders which were aimed at protecting the public.
Judge Hughes said: “The message has to be sent out loud and clear that these offences will not be tolerated.”