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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Sex predator past of Carlisle pets charity boss revealed

A former charity boss has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for sexually assaulting another man.

Ian Thomas Holmes photo
Ian Thomas Holmes

Ian Thomas Holmes, of Hallin Crescent, Morton, Carlisle, was jailed for two years and six months after he was convicted of sexually touching a 21-year-old man.

The 61-year-old had been due to be sentenced in December but skipped bail – an offence for which the judge sentenced him to a further two months imprisonment, to be served consecutively.

Holmes has continuously denied indecently assaulting his victim at the young man’s home on bonfire night 2012.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Holmes met the man after he brought a sick dog to his Carlisle-based charity Pets in Distress, and Holmes agreed to look after it.

Prosecutor Lloyd Morgan said: “That wasn’t sufficient for this defendant: he embarked upon what the Crown describes as the deliberate and persistent grooming of the victim.”

The victim is described as having “moderate to severe” learning disabilities and has been classified as a “vulnerable individual”.

The court was told that Holmes repeatedly turned up at the man’s home, which he shared with his mother, and would spend hours playing xBox with him.

On November 5, 2012, Holmes tried to take advantage of the man while they watched television.

Mr Morgan described how the defendant put his hand down the victim’s trousers and underwear, indecently touching him.

The victim asked him to stop, which he did, but then he put his hand back on top of his clothing.

Again the man asked Holmes to stop.

The assault was only discovered the following morning when the victim’s mother noticed he was upset.

Holmes was arrested and denied the offence, something he continued to do throughout his trial and after his conviction.

Mr Morgan revealed Holmes is a repeat offender, with his earliest similar offence being indecency recorded before Carlisle magistrates in 1982.

He had subsequent offences in 1986 for the serious sexual assault of a man under the age of 16 and in 1994 for an attempted serious sexual assault of a man over-16 and indecent assault on a man over-16.

Holmes had been scheduled to appear before Judge Barbara Forrester on December 13 for sentencing, but failed to appear.

Amos Waldman, defending, said: “Although he was aware of the proceedings, he was fearful having received threats during the course of the trial.”

Holmes was arrested by police in Kent last week.

Judge Forrester revealed during her sentencing: “[The probation office] said: ‘I assess that Mr Holmes is a predatory sex offender with a clear pattern of offending against the most vulnerable in the community.’”

In addition to the prison term – of which Holmes will serve half – he was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely, made the subject of a sex offenders’ prevention order and banned from working with children and vulnerable adults.

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