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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Man smacked bottoms of boys he met in Barrow park

A CONVICTED sex offender met up with boys and smacked some of them on the bottom after chatting with them.

A court heard that Darren Goode struck up conversations with youngsters who had gone to stroke his dog.

Police found him in the company of four boys on one occasion in Barrow Park.

The following month, he was seen on wasteland known as The Bowl with two young boys who went on to be returned to their parents.

Preston Crown Court heard that some of the boys spoke of having been grabbed by Goode who smacked them on the bottom, over their clothing.

The court also heard that he had a conviction for indecently assaulting a 10-year-old boy that had led to him being given nine months in prison in 1996 at Liverpool Crown Court.

Goode, 38, appeared for sentencing, having earlier pleaded guilty to seven offences of sexual assault and five of meeting a child following sexual grooming.

Following his sentence in 1996, he had gone on to commit breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.The court was told that the current case involved around four or five different boys - apparently aged from seven to 13-years-old.

Miss Nicola Daley, prosecuting, said that the police had been made aware that Goode had moved from Merseyside to Barrow.

Members of the public had reported him acting suspiciously around public areas, like Barrow Park, towards the end of 2008 and spring of last year.

No complaints had been made by any boys of sexual assault. However, the defendant had been seen with his dog, waiting or standing by the children’s play area of Barrow park.

The defendant was seen in Barrow Park on May 6 last year.

He was in the company of a boy who looked about 12 years old.

The police found Goode and four boys in the park. The children were returned to their parents and later video interviewed by police.

A 10-year-old said he had met the defendant several weeks earlier when Goode was standing near artificial pitches with his dog.

The boy and his friends had gone to stroke the dog and thereafter, chatted with him.

After that, the boy and two others had met Goode on a number of occasions.

Miss Daley said: “He said this was on most nights, around 4.30pm, after school and walking round the park. They talked about things like football and met with him at the weekends,” said Miss Daley.

“They described playing games like chasing each other.

“When they ran past, the defendant would stick a hand out and grab one of them, put them over his knee and smack their bottoms.

“It was sexual contact over clothing.”

Another boy gave police a similar version of events. He said they had begun to speak to Goode as a result of stroking his dog.He said the man had paid him to walk the dog in front of him, forfive minutes.A third boy described having gone over to stroke the dog. He said he had been grabbed hold of and smacked on the bottom.He suggested it had happened 20 or 30 times, but it had not hurt.

An eight-year-old boy said Goode had given him his mobile phone number, saying he could ring him at any time, if he wanted to play with the dog.

A second incident followed on June 3 last year on wasteland near Cavendish Road.

On that occasion, Goode was seen with two boys aged 10 and seven who went on to be returned to their parents. They too told police a similar story. The defendant had spoken ofhaving lost his dog and asked if they would help him look for it. They did not describe any incidents of contact. The boys said they had seen the defendant on a number of occasions andhad been told that if they wanted to see the dog, to go and see thedefendant and walk with him.

When interviewed by police, Goode confirmed that he had moved to Barrow in 2007.

He said he looked after his mother and about seven months earlier had got a dog, which he had to walk three or four times a day.

He said that as a result of being in the park, he had struck up a friendship with four boys. It had all started because the children liked to stroke his dog.

He said he found it easier to get on with children.

The defendant denied to officers ever smacking bottoms, playfully or otherwise.

Defence barrister Miss Jacinta Stringer said the sexual assaults were at the very lowest end of the scale.

“He is by no means a slick, manipulative offender – the sort of offender that the court sees more often than not.

“He is a deeply troubled and vulnerable human being. He unfortunately suffered as a child and struggles to deal with that.

“I can only put forward that he is like a teenager or a child himself. He is not a sophisticated adult.

“He finds it difficult to talk to adults.”

Miss Stringer added “He is someone with real emotional difficultieshimself. He has self harmed and continues to self harm in custody. “He finds it extremely difficult to address some of the problems hehas. Without some form of intervention his risk of re-offending will notbe reduced greatly”.

Goode, of Marsh Street, Barrow, who has been on remand in custody since June last year, was remanded for sentencing this Thursday. Judge Norman Wright, who isconsidering pre sentence and psychiatric reports, said he wanted time tothink about the sentence to be passed. ENDSMMMM

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