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‘Dyed-in-the-wool’ paedophile sat girl aged six on his lap – Plymouth Live

A “dyed-in-the-wool” paedophile sat a six-year-old girl on his lap in front of her mother – who had no idea about his perverted past.

Twisted Neil Haley, who has spent more than a decade in jail for child sex offences, befriended two mums to access their children, a court heard.

The 51-year-old is banned from unsupervised contact with girls under 16 but spent time at a family home with two toddlers.

He also sat their neighbour’s daughter on his knee, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Neither mother knew about his criminal record – with Haley lying that he had spent time in prison for a single-punch murder.

Jailing him for 14 months, Judge Peter Johnson said: “You are a dyed-in-the-wool paedophile and you present a continuing risk to young children.

“You targeted a young family with two young children aged two and a half and three and a half and their next-door neighbour with another young girl.”

“You deliberately hid your past from them (the parents).”

Haley, who used to live in the Bodmin area, pleaded guilty to two breaches of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order between January and August last year.

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A generic image of a silhouetted woman
Two mums were shocked to find their friend Neil Haley was a convicted sex offender

Thomas Faulkner, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the order was made upon conviction at Truro Crown Court back in January 2005.

He added that Haley had three convictions in 2001, 2005 and 2006 for child sex offences and one for breaching the order.

Mr Faulkner said Haley was not allowed unsupervised contact with any girl aged under 16, save for unavoidable day to day encounters.

The barrister added that he could meet children if supervised by their parent or carer with full knowledge of his previous convictions.

Mr Faulkner said that Haley was locked up under an indeterminate sentence in 2006 and only released in 2018.

He added that he got to know the mother of the two toddlers through a mutual friend.

Mr Faulkner said that he regularly visited the family home and helped out with chores and DIY.

He added that on one occasion he was briefly asked to keep an eye on the girls while their mother did the dishes in the next room.

Mr Faulkner said: “He told the family that he had at the time spent 14 years in prison for murder by killing someone with a single punch. This was not in fact true.”

The barrister added that he also got to know their neighbour, who had a six-year-old daughter.

Mr Faulkner said that on one occasion he sat the child on his lap for an estimated two minutes.

The court heard that the families became suspicious when Haley refused to have his picture posted on social media.

Mr Faulkner said that Haley claimed it was because of his murder conviction but the parents thought it may be because of a sexual offence – and so they contacted the police.

The mother of the six-year-old said in a statement read to the court by the barrister: “I feel I have let my family down and I have not protected them. It makes you think what could have happened if we had not found out.”

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She added that she felt she could not let her daughter stay at the homes of friends.

Michael Brown, for Haley, said that he had not befriended the women with a view to gain access to their children.

He added that the two charges refereed to two specific occasions.

Mr Brown stressed that Haley, who used to live at Nanstallon, did not touch the two children when looking after them as their mother did the dishes within earshot in the next room.

The barrister added that her neighbour had been present the whole time the defendant has sat her daughter in his lap.

Mr Brown said: “The child ran over to give him a cuddle and he reacted by picking her up and putting her on his knee.”

He added that Haley enjoyed enhanced prisoner status and had completed a number of courses in custody.

The court heard that Haley had already been recalled to HMP Dartmoor and will only be released with the approval of the parole board.

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