Mar 14 2012 Airdrie & Coatbridge
A BLIND sex offender who was ordered to stay away from children has been jailed for defying the court.
Anthony Callaghan (26), a prisoner at Barlinnie, appeared from custody at Airdrie Sheriff Court last week.
Handcuffed to a security guard, Callaghan made his way up the stairs from the holding cells beneath the court with the aid of a white stick and wearing dark glasses.
Kilmarnock Sheriff Court granted an order on September 22, 2010, preventing Callaghan from approaching, speaking or communicating directly or indirectly with any child under the age of 16. Callaghan was also prohibited from entering public parks, kids’ play areas, leisure centres and school or nursery grounds.
But the court was told that Callaghan befriended a woman living in Airdrie and on February 14 last year he was within her house in the town’s Drumgelloch Street.
While he was in the house there were two children present who were both under the age of five. Callaghan stayed in the house overnight until 10am the following day. It was only when someone else told the woman of his past that the police were contacted.
The court heard that Callaghan had been placed on the order for one year but the woman was unaware that he was a registered sex offender.
Callaghan’s defence agent Paul Belardo told the court that his client had struck up a “friendly relationship” with the woman.
Before sentencing Callaghan to the jail term, Sheriff Frank Pierri said: “In my view you present a serious risk and that’s demonstrated by the fact you broke this order so soon after it was implemented.”
The sheriff imposed a prison sentence of two years on Callaghan.
lIN A separate unconnected case, John Murray of Coatbridge was ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community for an offence involving indecent pictures of children.
The 48-year-old, of Addiewell Place in the town, was convicted of taking or permitting to be taken, or making a number of photos or pseudo-photos of children at his home address.
Sheriff John Morris QC placed Murray on probation for a period of two years and ordered him to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.