Sex offender back in court after being found with child's sock in his home

John Penswick pictured in 2002John Penswick pictured in 2002
John Penswick pictured in 2002
A sex offender was found with a magazine article about a 14-year-old transgender girl, and a frilly pink girl's sock in his home, a court has heard.

John Penswick, 57, of St George’s Quay, Lancaster, pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual offences prevention order twice.

Penswick was handed a SOPO in February 2014 after serving a jail term over a chilling harassment campaign against a Preston family and is banned from owning or possess any children’s clothing or retaining factual or fiction accounts of children.

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Imposing a two-year community order with a 40-day rehabilitation activity, Judge Recorder Murray said the breaches were minor compared to other offences but added: “You have a most significant history which puts society on alert about your behaviour. You have to be watched continuously.”

Prosecuting, David Clarke said: “The defendant was arrested at home at 2am on May 8. Police were investigating another matter which he was later found not to be involved in.”

In 2002 Penswick, who used to live St Michael’s Road, Deepdale, was jailed for seven years for threats to kill and harassment.

He subjected a family in Preston to a year of terror in which he secretly pinned obscene messages to their back gate in Deepdale and put sexually explicit material through their letterbox.

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In one message, Penswick said their daughter would become “the next Sarah Payne”, a reference to the girl abducted and murdered in Sussex.

When police searched this home they found an A-Z of Preston with schools marked out, and children’s underwear.

Chloe Fordham, defending, said: “This case has an extremely concerning history.”