‘Still not harsh enough’ - mum’s call for tougher punishment as child sex predator jailed again
The mother of a child targeted by a predatory paedophile who went on to reoffend has called for mandatory minimum sentences for his kind.
Three years ago, the woman told this newspaper that she feared Andrew Chaplin would still be a clear risk to children after being released from a 20-month jail sentence for trying to cause her son to engage in sexual activity.
On Monday, Chaplin was deemed a danger to the public at Ipswich Crown Court and jailed for four years, with an extended licence period of eight years, for attempting to meet a schoolboy after a period of sexual grooming.
Chaplin had been released on licence from a three-year jail term – handed down at Norwich Crown Court in 2015 for engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy – when he tracked down the woman’s son and lured him into his car outside a Suffolk supermarket in 2017.
The boy’s mother called Chaplin’s latest sentence “harsher, bit still not harsh enough”, and called for mandatory minimum terms for child sex offenders.
She had monitored the boy’s online activity in the lead up to the incident, which culminated in her ex-partner driving to the supermarket and finding Chaplin with the 13-year-old in his car.
“Once is enough – but three times is ridiculous,” she said.
“He came straight out of prison and reoffended. He’s clearly a predator and I’m shocked he was released back into Suffolk.
“He turned my son’s life upside down – he’s never been the same since. I will never forget his face or his name.
“People like him should get 10 years minimum.”
Chaplin, 46, of Cemetery Road, Ipswich, had been subject to a sexual offences prevention order when he reoffended in 2017.
He was then made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order, which he breached by possessing a smartphone used to communicate with an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old on the dating app Grindr.
Chaplin thought he had arranged to meet the boy after two weeks of sexual grooming – but was instead met by police in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park on February 11 this year.
On Monday, Judge Martyn Levett described him as “devoid of any self-control” and ordered that he be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order following his release on extended licence.
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