'If a child is old enough to talk, it’s old enough to have sex', shameless sex offender tells cops

The court denied the pedophile's appeal to travel abroad to another country where he would be able to have and develop a sexual relationship with children


                            'If a child is old enough to talk, it’s old enough to have sex', shameless sex offender tells cops

A court denied the appeal of a convicted pervert who told them that he wanted to travel to other countries where he would be able to have sex with children. The decision meant that his movements would be restricted abroad. The 37-year-old Jason Leonard was described by authorities at the court hearing as "one of the most dangerous" registered sex offenders in the region. Leonard, who hails from Haslingden, Lancashire, openly admitted that he wanted the freedom to travel abroad to a country where the legal age of consent is lower so that he could have and develop a sexual relationship there.

The Rossendale Free Press reported that Leonard told the police before the hearing that his "ideal" partner would be between the age of 12 and 14.

The judge at the Burnley Crown Court heard the sick man claim that pedophiles in the UK are being "persecuted" and has compared his treatment by society in general to that of "homosexuals 40 years ago and the Jews in the Second World War". After he lost the appeal in the court, Leonard will only be able to travel abroad if he had a written letter of permission from a police chief constable. 



 

He was put in jail for 32 months back in 2013 after he downloaded 251 explicit pictures of children and posted them online. Following this, Leonard was given a Sexual Offenses Prevention Order (SOPO) so that his internet use could be monitored. The Lancashire Police has now said that this was currently not "sufficient to manage his risk" and he was subsequently given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) by magistrates in April.

The SHPO also includes that additional measures have been added to prevent Leonard from having any sort of unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16 without the permission of a parent/guardian or social services, aside from getting written permission from a police chief constable to travel outside the area that he lives in. Leonard has claimed that the new order was "completely disproportionate" and made an appeal to the Burnley Crown Court to have the SHPO removed.

Detective Constable Andrew Ashworth, who manages more than 90 registered sex offenders in the Lancashire area, told the court during the hearing in August this year that Leonard is "one of the most dangerous offenders I have met" and that he poses an "exceptional risk". He said at the hearing: "Mr. Leonard is unique. In the 10 years performing this role, I have never met a sexual offender who quite openly acknowledges his paedophilic tendencies. He is exceptional and has been risked as exceptional." 

He continued: "Mr. Leonard has expressed his desire to leave the country because he believes the police, judiciary, and government in this country are persecuting pedophiles. He is very vocal and adamant about this persecution. He likens it to the persecution of homosexuals 40 years ago. He believes that in the fullness of time pedophilia will be accepted in the same way that homosexuality is today. He has expressed a desire to move to other European countries. He has talked about the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Italy because he believes they have a lower age of consent in the mid to low teens."



 

The appeal hearing was also told that Leonard watches "very child oriented" adult pornography which has "models dressed to look like cheerleaders or in school uniforms". The court was also told that when DC Ashworth asked the pervert in March what age was too young for sex he replied: "if a child is old enough to talk it’s old enough to have sex." He also replied "no comment" when he was asked about his thoughts on rape.

DC Ashworth said: "[Leonard] has accepted that his mother, who he has a close connection with, is a factor in holding him back to his sexual lifestyle. He has indicated that when she dies, and she is an elderly woman in her 80s, he will go abroad to seek children. For me, the only pro-social influence in his life at the moment is his mother and that’s purely because she is alive."

Stuart Kaufman, the man representing Leonard, said that his client is the "Ronseal of pedophiles" and has also said that the new SHPO restrictions were "completely disproportionate". He told the court: "Mr. Leonard said he would always abide by the laws of whichever country he goes to. If the age of consent is, say, 15 in Thailand then he would abide by that law. He is the Ronseal of pedophiles."

He continued: "He does exactly as he says on the tin. There’s nothing on Mr. Leonard’s record to suggest he has [had sexual activity] with a child. The only thing he has ever done is downloaded child pornography. There have been no changes in Mr. Leonard’s conduct since the SOPO was made in 2013. The court could have made an SHPO then but they didn’t. If his mother dies it may change but at the moment it is completely disproportionate."

Judge Sara Dodd denied Leonard's appeal and said that he was "deeply disturbed" and had a "frankly alarming attitude to pedophilia". DC Ashworth spoke after the hearing and said: "I'm pleased with the result. Lancashire Police will continue to manage the risk of any registered sex offender and this was an exceptional and unique case."