A roofer who served time for horrific child sex crimes hid his dark past from his new girlfriend when he was released from prison – lying to his partner that he had been jailed for attacking a cop.
John Bishop, 47, even moved into her home and once enjoyed a family Christmas dinner at the house where the guests included a child of nine, a court was told.
Now the convicted paedophile has been sent to jail again for ‘flagrant’ breaches of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) imposed when he was first imprisoned, the Liverpool Echo has reported.
The new partner only found out the truth when police tracked him down to his address, Liverpool Crown Court was told.
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But his lawyer revealed she is standing by Bishop – despite him being outed as a child sex predator.
Bishop previously admitted engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child under 16 and a series of offenses of exposure at Worcester Crown Court.
That involved him repeatedly exposing himself to a young girl, spying on her and performing a sex act on himself while watching her.
In July 2018, the paedophile was jailed for three years, given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and told to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.
He today pleaded guilty to four counts of breaching the SHPO, having previously admitted failing to comply with the requirements of the Sex Offenders Register.
Christopher Hopkins, prosecuting, said Bishop was released from jail in November 2019 and moved to a home in Waterpark Road, Prenton, before he started a relationship with the woman.
Mr Hopkins said: “She says that since June 2021 he had been living with her at an address on the Wirral, which was not his registered address.”
The court heard a sex offender manager from Merseyside Police visited his address in Waterpark Road on a number of occasions since 2019 but he wasn’t there and the landlord said “I don’t think he’s living here”.
Mr Hopkins said inquiries led them to the partner’s address.
Police discovered he had bought two mobile phones in March 2020, both capable of accessing the internet, and gave one to his girlfriend. I have failed to produce these to the police for inspection.
Mr Hopkins said: “He told his partner he was under the supervision of probation because he had been to prison for assaulting a police officer, which obviously wasn’t the case.”
John Weate, defending, said after coming out of prison, Bishop found work in Merseyside as a roofer and moved to the address in Waterpark Road.
However, he said during the pandemic his landlord wasn’t happy with people visiting his home and at the time his girlfriend often used to stay over, so he moved in with her, although he accepted this was not an excuse.
Mr Weate said: “There were no children under the relevant age at that address when he moved in. He accepts that he didn’t advise his partner of the reasons why he had served a prison sentence.
“The reason for that was in his own mind, he was simply concerned that she would take the – perhaps to many would be understandable – view that she wouldn’t want to continue the relationship.”
However, he added: “His fears in relation to his partner have not proved to be correct because she has – notwithstanding the fact that she has provided a statement to the police – she has remained in contact with the defendant whilst he’s been in custody, and, as I understand it, intends to summarize the relationship on his release, whenever that may be.”
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Mr Weate said nothing illegal or suspicious was found on either phone and on Christmas Day, when some 14 people were in the house for two to three hours, there was no suggestion of ‘any impropriety’ by his client.
He said Bishop had ‘a number of adult children himself, one of whom still maintains contact with him’.
The lawyer added: “His intention in the fullness of time is for him to renew the relationship with his partner, to get employment and try, if he can, to put this sorry episode in his life behind him.”
Mr Weate said his client’s 2018 offenses were committed at a time when ‘he had lost control of his life’ and was misusing illicit substances ‘as a consequence of childhood experiences’.
He said those experiences that Bishop went through as a child ‘resulted in a conviction against a person with whom he was associated’.
Judge David Aubrey, QC, said the SHPO had been put in place to protect children and it was Bishop’s responsibility to comply with it.
He told Bishop: “Whilst the court accepts the background, eloquently made by Mr Weate, you made a deliberate choice to ignore that order in respect of a number of ways and not to communicate with the authorities for a considerable period of time.”
Judge Aubrey said they were ‘flagrant’ breaches of the order and jailed Bishop for two years and eight months.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.