Historic sex offender gets child contact ban

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A sex offender with historic convictions, living in Bury St Edmunds, became subject to a court order this week banning him from having unsupervised contact with children.

Terance Murton, 68, of Northgate Street, Bury, was convicted in October, 1982, of four counts of gross indecency with a child and five counts of indecently assaulting a male aged 16 or over.

He was living in Thetford at the time and was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.

On Tuesday, Murton returned to Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court where he was issued with a sexual offences prevention order.

It prohibits him from having ‘unsupervised contact of any kind’ with a child under 16 other than ‘inadvertent’ contact ‘not reasonably avoidable in the course of daily life,’ or with the consent of the child’s parent/guardian who has knowledge of his convictions and with the ‘express approval’ of Social Care Services.

It also prohibits him from staying where anyone under 16 is present, unless supervised by an adult aware of his convictions who has been approved by the CYPS, and from being anywhere ‘used solely for the purposes of education or for the play or recreation of children’.

On behalf of the chief constable of Suffolk Police, Karly Mcquire told the court there had been ‘regular intelligence’ suggesting young males had visited Murton’s home since his convictions.

These included a Crimestoppers caller raising concerns about Murton’s behaviour in June 2002 and him being seen walking towards his garage holding the hand of a child in April this year, she said.

Murton denied occupying pastimes as a handyman and vehicle repairer to ‘recruit and groom’ young boys.

The court heard how he had ‘helped care’ for a friend’s child while she was at work.

Murton said he sometimes took the child to school, had helped with tasks like potty training and, when the child stayed overnight, had ‘settled him down’ from ‘night tremors’ in his single bed before returning him to the settee.

He denied carrying out tasks for the purpose of sexual gratification or ‘interfering’ with the child sexually.

“Whatever the nature of that relationship, given his previous convictions, it wasn’t suitable behaviour,” said Ms Mcquire, adding that the child’s mother was ‘understandably upset’ when police told her of Murton’s convictions and she had since moved away from the area.

Murton said he had not told the mother ‘because (he) didn’t think it was relevant at the time’.

On why he thought the order should not be granted, he said: “I’ve got to be trusted now, I want to be trusted to prove myself,” adding, “I don’t want to feel like I’m incapacitated by looking over my shoulder all the time.”

He said he had ‘suffered enough’ by losing contact with the child.

Nick Wray, representing Murton, said his convictions were from 31 years ago and that there was ‘no real evidence other than hearsay’ to show he posed a ‘real threat’.

Issuing the order, presiding magistrate Jim Spencer said Murton had shown no empathy for his victims and was ‘concerned only with himself’.

“We find it’s necessary to make this order to protect the public from serious sexual harm,” he said.