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Sex offender from Nairn jailed for 40 months after Liverpool Crown Court hears how he breached court order

By Ali Morrison

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Darren Duncan
Darren Duncan

A dangerous child sex offender formed a relationship with a mum of three daughters in a deliberate breach of a court order.

Darren Duncan has already breached the order on three previous occasions and a probation officer describes him as “living a life of lies and deceit” and having “a total disregard for court orders.”

In a report the officer also stated Duncan, who lives in Nairn, has “a lack of regard for the criminal justice system.”

Putting him behind bars for 40 months today Judge Neil Flewitt QC told him that the pre-sentence report “contains a number of deeply concerning observations” and he had continued to have contact with the woman even after the latest breach.

He said: “All of this led the author to state the risk you pose cannot be managed in the community and the only recommendation made by the author is an immediate prison sentence.”

Judge Flewitt said the latest offence was “a very serious and persistent breach. The risk of harm of putting someone with your record into a household with young female children is obvious and very serious.

“It seems to me any remorse you may have now is concerned for yourself rather than other people.”

He added that the 36-year-old was likely to breach terms of another order.

“The very least I can do is to protect the public by sending you immediately to prison,” he said.

The order was made in Inverness in 2017 and expires next year and the judge said he did not have the power to extend it.

However he asked for Scottish prosecuting authorities to be told about his latest offending so they could consider extending it.

Duncan, of Bridge Street, Nairn, works as an offshore mechanic on an oil rig.

He pleaded guilty to two breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Duncan formed a relationship with the woman in St Helens, Merseyside in early 2019 and failed to notify the offender management unit.

He had been described by the Scottish authorities as “a high risk sex offender” when they imposed the order in October 2017.

The woman had three daughters under 16 as well as a young son and Duncan was sometimes in their company, including staying over at their home, despite being banned from being in contact with females under 16.

Duncan was jailed for eight months in May 2019 for breaching the notification requirements, involving travelling to Holland, but when freed he and the woman continued their relationship.

He was seen playing with the children in the garden and took one of them on a shopping trip – “just the two of them”.

After his arrest letters were found at his home from the woman and the girls, in which one of them referred to him as her “step-dad” and saying she was missing him.

In a letter sent to him in prison the eldest girl also spoke about missing him and the other daughter thanked him for Christmas presents including an iPhone.

When arrested Duncan denied being in a relationship with the woman, saying they had spoken on the phone and met in a pub twice. He denied being at her home.

He later admitted staying over at her home about 10 times and meeting the children.

The court heard he has 17 previous convictions for 29 offences including getting probation in November 2012 for “lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour” and in January 2014 he was jailed for two and a half years for penetrative sex with a 15-year-old girl.

He breached his Sexual Offences Prevention Order in three times in 2018, for which he was admonished, fined and then latterly jailed for eight months, and also has a conviction for stalking and breaching his bail.

Callum Ross, defending, said: “To put it bluntly he finds himself in exceptionally hot water before this court.”

He said Duncan accepted his behaviour was “totally unacceptable."

Mr Ross said that Duncan, who has some mental health issues and is on medication for depression and anxiety, lives with his mother and is her carer.

“He is a 36-year-old man now and is a man who has learnt the error of his ways and would be motivated and willing to engage with the probation service to help him.”

He added that no actual harm had been caused and he has worked on and off as an offshore mechanic on a North Sea oil rig for six or seven years.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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