Father-of-five placed on sexual offenders’ register

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A FATHER-OF-FIVE from Walberton who hugged and kissed a boy under the age of 13 has been placed on the sexual offenders’ register.

At a hearing at Chichester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, Jeremy Napthine, 50, of Tye Lane, was also ordered to undertake a treatment programme when he was sentenced for two sexual offences committed against a minor.

David Packer, prosecuting, explained to the court that the first charge related to hugging and kissing the boy while the second one related to ‘holding the child and stroking his back’.

The court heard that Napthine gave the boy sweets and gifts between £5 and £50, including £40 in a note in which he told the child he loved him.

Mr Packer read out extracts of a letter, written by the defendant in 2013 confessing to having sexual feelings for the child.

The letter described how Napthine had ‘opportunities’ to commit offences but that 
he had told himself ‘not to take it any further’ otherwise he would have been ‘in trouble’.

After the extracts had been read out, the court heard how Napthine had no previous convictions.

However, in 2008 he had 
been given a caution for touching a boy inappropriately through his clothes and was placed on the sexual offenders’ register for two years.

Jacqueline Carey, defending, said her client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

She added that he had also voluntarily begun taking psychotherapy sessions since last year.

Ms Carey said by writing the letter, in which he described ‘hating himself’ for his actions and prompted his arrest, he had acknowledged wrong-doing.

She continued by telling magistrates how the defendant would welcome treatment.

“He is a man of good character, he has had a business since 1986, has been married for many years and is a father of five,” Ms Carey said.

“There is no suggestion at all of any inappropriate behaviour towards any of his children.”

Napthine was placed on the sexual offenders’ register for five years and ordered to follow the Thames Valley Sex Offenders’ Programme.

As part of his community order he was ordered not to have unsupervised access to children, ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work, made to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

The bench rejected the prosecution’s call to place a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order on him.