Yarmouth sex offender jailed after fleeing to Scotland
A sex offender from Norfolk who went on the run for 13 years was finally arrested in Scotland.
Kevin Simnett, 53, who sexually assaulted an eight year-old girl while he was acting as a babysitter in Great Yarmouth, managed to evade arrest and was living in hiding in Livingstone.
When police realised he might be living in the area, two officers from Lothian and Borders police went to a pub Simnett was thought to use and posed as potential car sellers so they could make contact and arrest him.
Yesterday Simnett was finally brought to justice at Norwich Crown Court, when he was jailed for 18 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, after admitting indecently assaulting the girl in 1996.
Judge Peter Jacobs praised the actions of police in arresting Simnett. He told him: “You absconded and have been missing for a long time, some 13 years, and as a result of that there has not been closure for the complainant and you have evaded the course of justice.”
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Lindsay Cox, prosecuting, said that the indecent assault happened while Simnett was babysitting. He said that Simnett told the girl not to tell anyone what happened and said he would give her some sweets.
He was arrested and released on bail, but went on the run to Scotland.
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Danielle O’Donovan, for Simnett, said: “It was a one-off incident, on one occasion. He has been at large for some 13 years and during that time there have been no further offences.”
She said that his whereabouts was known when he began signing on.She said that when police contacted him, Simnett had handed himself in.