A 74-YEAR-OLD woman helped her pervert husband breach a ban on him having contact with children by joining him on trips with youngsters to a theme park and zoo.
Sylvia Botham claimed she was unaware of the exact details of his past and the terms of the court order which prohibited him from being unsupervised with under-18s.
The pensioner was convicted after a trial at Teesside Crown Court of seven counts of “aiding and abetting” her husband Frederick breach the order.
Loading article content
The jury found last month that she had known of the order against her 70-year-old husband but did not inform others when appropriate to do so.
The offences, relating to children who cannot be named for legal reasons, date back to 2010 and 2011 and included the couple going to Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire and Chester Zoo.
Prosecutor Christine Egerton said police visited the couple in 2004 before they wed to discuss Botham being a registered sex offender for indecently assaulting a child.
Due to a lack of openness about the couple’s movements, police applied for a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), granted by magistrates in June 2007.
This banned him from having contact with anyone under 18 without supervision by an adult who knew of his past.
In her defence, Botham said her husband revealed he was a sex offender when they were engaged.
She said: “Everything was paid for at the wedding. I tried to get my money back and I couldn’t. He always told me it was just one offence and I believed him."
Her barrister, Adrian Dent, said she was starting divorce proceedings.
The Bothams, of Marine Court, Saltburn, east Cleveland, appeared in the dock together today (Friday, December 7), but did not appear to speak to one another.
Jailing the husband for six months, Judge Peter Armstrong told him: "You blatantly breached the Sexual Offences Prevention Order."
Sylvia Botham was given a four-month suspended prison sentence after her barrister, Mr Dent, told the court she had been "naively loyal".
He added that she had kept his past a secret from friends and family in the hope that she could manage whatever risk the convicted paedophile posed to children.
Joanne Kidd, mitigating, said there was no suggestion Frederick Botham, who admitted seven charges of breaching the order, had harmed any children.
The judge said parents would have been "devastated" to learn of Botham's past.