Sunderland child rapist found living rough in South Shields park

Charles Thompson
Charles Thompson

A child rapist has been jailed for failing to tell police where he was living.

Charles Christopher Thompson left his house in Villette Road, Sunderland, and was living rough in a park when he was arrested, South Northumbria Magistrates’ Court heard.

Thompson, 67, was convicted of rape at Truro in Cornwall in 2001.

“He served his sentence,” said Paul Anderson, prosecuting.

“As part of his conditions of release from custody he was obliged to tell police annually where he was living.

“He did attend Waterloo Place police office in Sunderland to sign on, but was informed he could only sign the register at Southwick police station.

“An officer at Waterloo Place offered to give him a lift, but Mr Thompson declined to wait.”

The court heard police called at Thompson’s last known address in Villette Road.

“They put security tags on the doors,” added Mr Anderson.

“These were not disturbed over a period of time, enabling officers to conclude Thompson was not living there.

“He was eventually found living rough in Marine Park in South Shields.”

Thompson, of no fixed abode, admitted one charge of breaching sex offender notification requirements.

He denied a second charge, but was convicted after a trial.

Tony Southwick, defending, said: “Mr Thompson is not from Sunderland.

“He didn’t know how to get to Southwick police station.

“He did make significant efforts that day, taking at least one bus which took him to Pennywell, another place with which he is unfamiliar.

“Mr Thompson could have taken a taxi, but he only had his £80 benefits money which was to last him a fortnight.

“After he became homeless, he didn’t have an address to give police, although he realises he should have gone to see them.”

Thompson was jailed for 30 weeks, and ordered to pay £340 costs.