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Sentencing of paedophile caught in Christchurch Park snare adjourned for psychiatric evaluation

PUBLISHED: 19:55 16 June 2020

Andrew Chaplin was arrested in Christchurch Park in February after being caught in a police sting where he thought he was meeting a 14-year-old boy. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY/ARCHANT

Andrew Chaplin was arrested in Christchurch Park in February after being caught in a police sting where he thought he was meeting a 14-year-old boy. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY/ARCHANT

SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY/ARCHANT

The sentencing of a paedophile who was caught in a police operation in Christchurch Park earlier this year has been adjourned for the fourth time for a psychiatric report.

Andrew Chaplin, 45, of Cemetery Road, Ipswich, did not appear for sentencing at Ipswich Crown court via video link yesterday on the grounds he was still waiting for a psychiatric report.

He pleaded guilty before magistrates in February, to arranging to meet boy to engage in sexual activity following grooming, engaging in sexual communication with a child between January 30 and February 11 and attempting to cause a child to view an image of him engaging in a sexual activity.

MORE: Undercover operation ends in paedophile’s arrest at Ipswich park

Three previous sentencing hearings have since been adjourned due to Chaplin’s ongoing request for psychiatric evaluation and Judge Martyn Levett said it would be necessary to determine whether he was a danger to the public.

He said: “Looking at the response to supervision documents which have been uploaded recently, it is quite clear to me that whatever sentence is passed, the defendant doesn’t obey any of the orders that the court makes and is incapable of obeying the sexual harm prevention order.

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“Therefore, the protection of the public seems to be significantly at large.

“If my role in sentencing under section 142 is either a deterrent sentence, which is not necessarily appropriate in this case, or the sentence where I am to protect the public as best I can, then
surely I have to consider the aspect of whether the defendant is a dangerous offender.”

Counsel in the case, Mr Jude Durr, said there had been no “express assessment of dangerousness” so far and that Chaplin had been informed it may be that a psychiatric report could yield information that is adverse, potentially, to his interests if they are identified as achieving the most lenient sentence possible.

He added: “Nevertheless, against the situation he has determinedly represented to us, is that he wants the psychiatric report.”

The hearing was adjourned until July 27 and a pre-sentence report has been requested by July 20, in addition to the psychiatric report.

Judge Levett added: “It appears Mr Chaplin is not deterred by the consequences of his offending.”


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