Richard Stanley Cullum, from Weymouth, hid his deviant past from a mother who he befriended and took her young daughters on unsupervised days
A convicted sex offender who hid his deviant past from a mother who he befriended and took her young daughters on unsupervised days has been sentenced to five months behind bars.
Richard Stanley Cullum was given a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) back in 2013 after being caught with indecent images of children, which saw him banned from having unsupervised contact with under 16-year-olds.
Yet the 36-year-old moved 100 miles from Hertfordshire to Weymouth, Dorset, where he got got a job as a manager at a convenience store, often serving young children.
It was in Weymouth where he befriended a mum-of-two young girls, aged seven and 10, but failed to mention his conviction.
Cullum took her daughters away on several nine-month period, including to theme parks outside of Dorset as well as short trips to an arcade and cinema in Weymouth – while the mother was completely oblivious to his past.
It was only when a member of staff at a school near where Cullum worked contacted the police.
Officers visited the mother’s home and told police she was friends with Cullum. She told them that she let Cullum take them on day trips and have unsupervised access with her children, which breached Cullum’s SOPO.
Prosecutor Lee Turner told the court: ‘He is a high-risk sex offender. The defendant had also taken photos of her daughters on the trips. This was a deliberate act by the offender to involve himself in the family and make contact with the two girls.’
And in May this year, Cullum appeared before Weymouth magistrates when it emerged he was working with children under 16. On that occasion he was fined £85 and given a community order.
Cullum pleaded guilty to being unsupervised with a child under 16 whilst prohibited from doing so by a SOPO.
Defending Cullum, Lee Christmas said: ‘There was no suggestion that there was any untoward behaviour towards the two girls. No harm came to the children.
‘He has been naive. This isn’t a case where he is grooming them.’
This was a deliberate act by the offender to involve himself in the family and make contact with the two girls
Judge Manning said: ‘This was a serious, repeated and deliberate breach of your SOPO, carried out over a significant period of time.
‘We acknowledge that no harm came to the children, but because it was persistent it crosses the threshold for custody.’
Another local who worked near the convenience store which Cullum ran said: ‘I was shocked when I found out about him.
‘He had been the manager of the store for about two or three years and he ran it very efficiently.
‘As a person he was a really nice guy, he’s obviously got this past but that’s hard to get your head round.
‘It goes to show you don’t really know what’s going on around you. I think the community will be somewhat shocked.’