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'You're a bad person': Sex offender's taunt as he attacked probation officer

PUBLISHED: 15:04 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 19:01 06 February 2020

Norwich Crown Court had heard John Watson, 32 of no fixed abode, was involved in four burglaries, four thefts and an attempted break-in. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court had heard John Watson, 32 of no fixed abode, was involved in four burglaries, four thefts and an attempted break-in. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A sex offender attacked his probation officer after calling him a "bad person" for choosing to do the job.

Norwich Crown Court heard Robert Sandiford, 29, was having an interview with the officer in Norwich, who told him he had been in breach of an unpaid work requirement of his order and could be going to prison.

Jude Durr, prosecuting, said Sandiford had been trying to leave but was unable to get out of the door.

Mr Durr said the officer, who had been trying to help the defendant, was struck across his right eye and forehead by Sandiford, who then pushed him out of the open door into the corridor.

He then said: "You're a bad person for doing this job. I'm doing you a favour for letting you know this."

Sandiford, of Calthorpe Road, Norwich, appeared for sentence on Thursday (February 6) having admitted assault by beating, failure to comply with requirements of the sex offenders' register, and a breach of a suspended sentence order.

The court heard Sandiford had originally been sentenced to a two-year community order with the requirement that he undertook a 30-day programme in December 2017 after admitting one count of sexual assault.

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Following a first breach of the order Sandiford's original sentence was replaced in January last year with eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, as well as a requirement to undertake a 30-day programme.

Sandiford appeared before the courts again in July and October and was due to appear in relation to a further breach in December last year.

He failed to appear and was arrested and held in custody. The court heard to date Sandiford had completed one day of the 30-day programme he had been sentenced to, none of his rehabilitation activity requirement and eight hours of his unpaid work.

Sentencing Sandiford to 36 weeks in prison, Judge Andrew Shaw said: "I'm afraid the time has come when you will not be given any more chances." Judge Shaw said there was a very sorry history to the case but told Sandiford that if he had "just got on with it" two years ago it would all be over.

Sophie Clarke, mitigating, said Sandiford was on the autistic spectrum, suffered aspergers and from PTSD after childhood abuse.

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