Police heard sex offender molesting woman in his home days after prison release
POLICE heard a dangerous sex offender molesting a woman in his home only days after he was released from prison.
• Police overheard Thomas Shannon indecently assaulting a woman via ‘covert listening device’ fitted in offender’s flat as part of strict monitoring regime
• Offender admitted being with victim but denied indecent assault
• Shannon has previous convictions for sex offences and was jailed for six years and four months
A “covert listening device” had been fitted in Thomas Shannon’s flat in Dundee as part of a strict monitoring regime, and officers heard the woman’s pleas to him to stop. She had left by the time police arrived on the scene.
Shannon, 21, was jailed for six years and four months at the High Court in Edinburgh where the judge, Lord Doherty, told him: “It is very clear that, at present, you are a serious danger to the public and in particular to women.”
The judge ordered that Shannon, who has previous convictions for sex offences, be kept under supervision for eight years after the prison term.
‘Very high risk sex offender’
Shannon admitted breaching a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) and indecently assaulting the woman on 12 February by trying to kiss and cuddle her and forcing her to touch him.
Last December, Tayside Police instigated Operation Jubilee to manage the then imminent release of Shannon from jail. He was assessed as a “very high risk sex offender,” said the advocate-depute, Gillian Wade.
Among the measures put in place was a remotely-monitored covert listening device in the flat he was allocated. Under the SOPO, Shannon was prohibited from following, touching, approaching or communicating with any female except in certain specified circumstances. He was released on 27 January.
Woman feared for her safety
The victim in the latest offence lived with her boyfriend in the same block. She had been drinking heavily and woke to find he had left the flat. She went out to buy more alcohol, and, on her return, pressed several buzzers, including Shannon’s, to gain entry to the block. He let her in, and police went to check on Shannon. They spoke to the woman in her flat, and she explained she had fallen out with her boyfriend. She was drunk.
Later, after she had taken more drink, the woman went to speak to Shannon. He began complimenting her and she was flattered by his attention. He groped at the woman and said: “You know you want it. I’ve been in prison for three years, I need a s***.”
The victim was heard saying, “What you doing? No, no...please leave me alone.”
Ms Wade said the woman repeatedly refused Shannon’s demand to touch him but, fearing for her safety, believed that if she did as she was told, she would be allowed to leave.
Police arrived to find Shannon alone. The woman was asleep in her own flat. They spoke to her later and she disclosed that Shannon had indecently assaulted her. Shannon admitted being in the company of the woman, breaching his SOPO, but denied assaulting her.
The defence solicitor-advocate, Gerald McClure, said Shannon was still a young man and his latest offences were not as serious as those he had committed in the past. He would undertake whatever work was available to him in custody to address his conduct.
Lord Doherty said he would have jailed Shannon for eight years but it would be discounted because he had pleaded guilty. He also said that Shannon would remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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