A SEX offender who failed to tell police he was homeless and sleeping rough in Brampton will be sentenced by a Carlisle Crown Court judge.

The city’s Rickergate Magistrates Court heard that Michael Hazell, 38, had travelled to Carlisle after he was released from prison in Brighton on June 22.

As a convicted sex offender, whose name appears on the national Sex Offenders’ Register, he has a legal obligation to tell the police if he is homeless and living rough in a force’s area, prosecutor John Moran told the court.

Offenders have to do this within three days of their release.

The prosecutor outlined how on June 26 police were alerted by reports of a man who was living rough in the Brampton area.

When police tracked down the man, they found it was the defendant, and he confirmed that he had been released from prison on June 22 - four days earlier.

“He told the police that he had travelled from Brighton to Carlisle,” said Mr Moran.

“In his police interview, he said he had wanted to be away from Brighton.

“He’d walked from Carlisle to Brampton.”

Hazell confirmed to the police that he had been sleeping on the streets.

Mr Moran explained that the defendant had previously been convicted in London of an offence of downloading indecent images of children - the conviction which led to his name going on to the Sex Offenders’ Register.

Chris Toms, for Hazell, said police had found nothing of concern on the defendant’s phone, and nor was his behaviour on June 26 when police caught up with him an issue.

The lawyer said this was not a case of a sex offender seeking to avoid the consequences of his actions.

Mr Toms said: “He was released from prison on June 22 in Brighton and he travelled to Carlisle via Glasgow. He’d been in Carlisle three or four days. “When he feels stressed he leaves the area that’s associated with that stress.”

Mr Toms added that the offence before the court, which the defendant admitted, was a low level breach of the Sex Offenders’ Register notification rules.

Ruling that the case should be dealt with by a judge at Carlisle Crown Court, presiding magistrate Kevin Wilderspin said the defendant deliberately breached the requirements of the Sex Offenders’ Register.

He said: “You’ve had a total of five failings to comply with the notification requirements scattered around the country, from Folkstone to Brighton and to Cardiff. Therefore we’re going to commit this matter to the crown court. You will be remanded in custody until that time.”

Hazell will be sentenced at the Crown Court on July 31. In the meantime, a background report will be prepared. He was heard protesting loudly as he was led away from the dock.