Grantham court: Man must stay on sex register

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Historic sexual offences against minors were put before Grantham magistrates, as a 45-year-old man appealed Lincolnshire’s Police decision to keep him on the sexual offenders’ register.

Andrew Ashmore, of Stamford Street, Grantham, had lodged an appeal to be taken off the register, which sex offenders are able to do 15 years after being placed upon it.

In order for this to happen and for their notification requirements to end, they must undergo a review by police and satisfy the court that it is ‘not necessary’ for them to remain on the register indefinitely.

Representing Lincolnshire Police, who refused Ashmore’s request on December 4, solicitor Matt Greene said: “There is quite a strong and compelling argument that there is a risk.”

Mr Greene detailed Ashmore’s first sexual offence conviction in March 1996, when he was imprisoned for three incidents of gross indecency and two indecent assaults of a minor.

Ashmore was sentenced to jail and was released in December 1997 after 19 months.

However, in July 1998, Ashmore returned to court and was found guilty of two counts of having sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16. Ashmore was again imprisoned, and released in August 1999.

Mr Greene also presented more recent incidents that had been reported to police in 2007 and 2009, but for which Ashmore was not charged.

Representing himself in court, Ashmore said: “There’s worse people out there than me.”

Asked why he had requested to be taken off the register, Ashmore explained that he had been through the sexual offending treatment programme three times.

He added that since moving to Grantham four years ago, he had been in full-time employment as a fork-lift truck driver, and was currently in a stable relationship.

He said: “All I want is to live the rest of my life the best I can.”

However, Mr Greene said police also had concerns after officers were called to a Grantham address on Valentine’s Day of this year. A witness had reported seeing Ashmore push his partner to her upper body and neck. Mr Greene also highlighted that Ashmore’s partner has four children, although there had not been any reports concerning them.

After these previous incidents were presented in court, Ashmore told magistrates: “That was my past. I’m trying to change my life.

“I’ve had enough time through the system with theft, stealing cars, and burglary. This is by far the worst offence, and I want to change that.”

Grantham magistrates’ chairman John Reynolds ruled that Ashmore had failed to show that it was not necessary for him to remain on the sexual offenders register indefinitely.

Ashmore was also ordered to pay costs totalling £406.