Beds, Herts & Bucks

Watford camera ban sex offender Martin Rodrigues sentenced

A sex offender took photographs of girls from his bedroom window in Watford, despite a court ban, a judge has heard.

Martin Rodrigues, 42, of The Ridgeway, had been banned due to previous convictions "but could not help himself", St Albans Crown Court heard.

He appeared in court and admitted breaching a sexual offences prevention order, his third breach since 2009.

Rodrigues was given a three-year community order.

He must attend a sex offenders treatment programme and abide by a police tracking programme and not be drunk in a public place.

Photography 'obsession'

The court heard officers raided his mother's home, also in Watford, in December last year and seized memory sticks, a computer hard drive and a mobile phone.

Photographs of girls, some of whom were in school uniform, were found in deleted files, the court heard.

Rodrigues was convicted in 2000 of indecent assault on a girl, aged under 16.

In 2005, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a girl aged under 13 and in 2007 he was convicted of breaching his community order due to taking photographs of females under 18-years-of-age in a park.

Defence barrister Daniel O'Mally said Rodrigues initially claimed he was obsessed with photography and had not gained sexual gratification, but now accepted that was not the case.

Judge Martin Griffith warned Rodrigues he would face a prison sentence if he breached the order again.

He must not possess a phone with a camera or approach any girl, have girls in his home or go within 100m of schools.

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