A paedophile has been jailed after he defied an order to stay away from children and was spotted by teachers waiting outside a school in Exeter.
Luke Atherton was banned from having any contact with people under 16 because he has two different convictions for under age sex.
He broke the Sexual Offences Prevention Order when he was supposed to be under supervision at a post-release hostel but started a relationship with a mother who had two daughters.
He went with her to pick up the older child at a school in Exeter and teachers became alarmed because they noticed the girl was worried about going towards him and her mother.
The mother broke off the relationship as soon as she was told about his past by police and social workers.
Atherton was on the sex offenders’ register after being jailed for under age sex in Scotland in 2010 and sexual activity with a child in Cheltenham in 2011. Both cases involved girls aged 14 to 16.
He had been out of prison on parole for seven months and was living at a post-release hostel in Plymouth when he started a relationship with the mother-of-two in Exeter.
He was also subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) which required him to notify both the mother and social services if he moved into any home where children were living.
Atherton, of Hermitage Road, Plymouth, admitted breach of the SOPO and was jailed for eight months by Judge Erik Salomonsen at Exeter Crown Court.
He told him:”You started a relationship with the mother of two young girls and spent time with them and were observed at school, where for whatever reason, one of them appeared uncomfortable.
“It clearly caused concern for the teachers who observed what was going on. This was the clearest possible breach of the order.”
Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said:”On his release he was placed in a probation hostel in Plymouth and registered as he was required to do.
“In the early part of last year he started a relationship with a young woman in Exeter which developed into a sexual relationship. She had two daughters, then aged nine and four.
“The defendant accompanied his girlfriend when she went to pick up the older girl from school and waited outside with her. A teaching assistant recalls the girl looking uncomfortable and withdrawn when she was aware of him being with her mother.”
She said Atherton’s first conviction was for unlawful sexual intercourse at Forfar Sherriff’s Court and his second was at Gloucester Crown Court in March 2011 when he was jailed for 38 months.
He was released to the hostel in Plymouth on July 25, 2012 and started his relationship with the mother in February 2013. It ended when social workers intervened on March 28, 2013.
Mr Peter Seigne, defending, said there was no suggestion Atherton had been any threat to or harmed the two young children.
He said:”He regrets not being more open with the mother when they first met. When she found out, he was subjected to a barrage of messages and phone calls from her.
“He needs a short, sharp shock so he understands the seriousness of breaching the order. He was staying at the address and was occasionally helping the mother to pick up the children.”