Parents say sex offender son was ‘a disaster waiting to happen’ as they blast authorities

Keith Parkin, leaving South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
Keith Parkin, leaving South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

The family of a mentally-ill convicted sex offender say he is a “disaster waiting to happen” – unless he gets the help he needs.

Keith Parkin, who spent seven years of his life in secure accommodation, has constantly been in trouble with the law since social workers in South Tyneside moved him to a unit in the borough where, they claim, the 28-year old was “left to his own devices” for nearly two years.

Colin and Linda Parkin are at their wits end after social services have deemed their son Keith capable of looking after himself despite him having a mental age of 10.

Colin and Linda Parkin are at their wits end after social services have deemed their son Keith capable of looking after himself despite him having a mental age of 10.

Parkin is now living in a bail hostel after being handed a 200-hour community order after admitting to sexually assaulting a 
woman.

His parents, Colin and Linda Parkin, say he has always struggled with everyday life, has a mental age of 10, been diagnosed with Impulsive Disorder and has been in constant trouble since his support network was taken away.

As well and the indecent assault conviction, Parkin has appeared in court for making a string of hoax calls to the fire service and sending naked pictures of himself to a woman on Facebook.

South Tyneside Council say they cannot comment on specific cases.

We have told social services time and time again that he just cannot look after himself. He needs a support network around him. This situation is a disaster waiting to happen.

His brother, Simon Parkin, says leaving him on his own is “a disaster waiting to happen”.

He said: “We have told social services time and time again that he just cannot look after himself. He needs a support network around him. This situation is a disaster waiting to happen”.

“They’ve seen that moving him out of accommodation where he has 24-hour supervision didn’t work but they just seem to have washed their hands of him.

“He’s not being supervised and at the minute he has just been left to his own devices. The probation service have been helpful but their hands are tied as to how far they can take it.”

Keith Parkin, leaving South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Keith Parkin, leaving South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

He added: “He has already had two weeks in prison on remand and he stayed in his cell throughout it all. He was just crying on the phone.

“My family have had no phone calls from social services, nothing, and things are getting worse by the day.

“He needs support and he’s getting nothing. He is mentally ill and now labelled as a sex offender. Things were fine until his help was taken away.”

A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “The safeguarding of vulnerable adults is a key priority for us and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure they receive the appropriate care they need.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on individual cases.”

Parkin had been in and out of custody

Keith Parkin was handed a 200-hour community order for sexually assaulting a woman.

Parkin, 28, was made the subject of the order at South Shields Magistrates Court after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, told the court Parkin groped the woman on July 20 – squeezing her breasts and touching her inappropriately.

She said the victim told Parkin to stop but that he continued his assault.

Chris Brown, defending, said Parkin had already had a ‘high degree’ of punishment by being placed in custody prior to the hearing.

He said: “We have a man who has been in and out of custody, which is a high degree of punishment due to his mental condition. He is scared to leave his cell.

“Nothing of this nature has previously occurred and he accepts that he has caused upset to another human being.”

Mr Brown said prison was “not the place” for Parkin who was capable of doing manual work which he has undertaken in the past.

Chair of magistrates, Sarah Harper, said: “This is a severe offence and one which was very unpleasant for the victim.

“I am sentencing you to a high level community order as this does not cross the custody threshold.”

Parkin was sentenced to a community order of 200 hours of unpaid work, he must also pay £180 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge - a total of £240 which will be deducted from his benefit.

He must also sign the sexual offences register and tell police seven days before he intends to travels abroad for the next five years.