Sex offender given two years in jail

A registered sex offender who had an inappropriate relationship with a woman at his home in Newton Stewart was jailed for two years at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Thirty-eight-year-old James Rigden, a prisoner in Kilmarnock, was alone with the woman on June 6 despite knowing she had not been risk-assessed by the authorities monitoring him.

Procurator fiscal Pamela Rhodes told the court that although the accused was on the sex offenders’ register, he had managed to set up an internet account and established contact with the woman, who was from the north-east of England. He then asked her to come to Newton Stewart and stay with him.

When she arrived in the town she sent Rigden a text but she was told not to come to the house until his supervisors had left. After they had gone, she went to the house but was spotted going in by an off-duty police officer who reported the incident to the police.

They went round and, after a search, found the woman hiding in one of the bedrooms. She told officers that the sex between them had been consensual.

In mitigation, solicitor Paul Feeney said that the accused and the woman had struck up a friendship over the internet and wanted to see how they got on in person. If they wanted to develop things further, the plan was to have the woman risk-assessed.

Sheriff Kenneth Robb said 
that the point was not the stage 
of the relationship but that Rigden had ignored the court order he 
was under.