Blackpool sex offender allowed to spend time with his new son under certain conditions

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Ben Franklin was banned from being with under 16s under a sexual harm prevention order

 

General view of Preston Crown court in Lancashire.
General view of Preston Crown court in Lancashire.

A Blackpool sex offender has been given permission to take his new baby out in public – but only if accompanied by specific people.

Ben Franklin, 26, was handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order in 2015 which banned him from being in contact with children under 16.

Under the terms of the order, Franklin, who has recently become a dad, would not be able to go out and about with his child and partner.

If he breaches the order he could face prosecution – or even prison.

Franklin, of Cooper Street in Blackpool, said: “I just want to be able to spend time with my son.”

After consulting with the police and social services, the Honorary Recorder of Preston Judge Robert Atham agreed to make an amendment.

He said Franklin was allowed to spend time with his own child – but only if accompanied by someone who is aware of the order and has been approved by social services.

Franklin told the court he is still in a relationship with the baby’s mum, who “knows everything” about his previous convictions.

Judge Altham said: “In this matter the applicant seeks to vary a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which was made in 2015 because his situation has changed.

“He now has a very young son and the order, as it is currently drafted, prevents him from being out and about with his son, even if he is accompanied by his partner. He has told me, and I accept, that they are still together in a relationship. ”

No police or social services representatives attended court but the judge said he had received an email suggesting a variation which would continue to protect the public while enabling Franklin to spend time with his family.

Judge Altham made the amendment, saying: “The variation means that yes, he can go to places where there are children under 16, but only when he is with his son and there is someone who knows about the order.

“The order is not there to prevent him from having a family life. I have to take into consideration not only his right to a family life but also his son’s right to a family life.”