Convicted rapist who slept rough in Exmouth is spared jail now he lives at religious rehab

PUBLISHED: 13:22 26 March 2018

Exeter Crown Court. Ref exeter crown court

Exeter Crown Court. Ref exeter crown court


Convicted rapist Joseph Norton, who was sleeping rough in Exmouth and failed to tell police where he was, has spared jail because he is now living at a Christian community in Devon.

A homeless sex offender living rough in Exmouth who broke the terms of the register by not telling police where he was living has been spared a jail sentence.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court showed mercy on convicted rapist Joseph Norton after learning he is now living at a Christian community in Devon.

The court was told how Norton broke the order by failing to tell police of his location every seven days while he was living rough in Exmouth, Exeter and East Devon in July last year.

Norton, aged 34, now of the Eagle Community at Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, admitted failing to comply with the sex offenders register and was jailed for a year, suspended for 18 months, by Judge David Evans.

The judge told him: “You had no fixed abode but were required to notify the police of your whereabouts every seven days. You knew perfectly well what your obligations were.

“You must seize the opportunity of having a residence at the Eagle Community. It gives you a realistic possibility of rehabilitation.”

The judge ordered Norton to stay at Eagle for a year and undertake 35 days of rehabilitation activities with the probation service.

Mr Gordon Richings, prosecuting, said Norton has 14 convictions for failing to comply with the register and had been jailed for 12 months on the last two occasions.

Mr Brian Fitzherbert, defending, said there was a positive report from Norton’s supervising officer which recommended he should remain at the community in North Devon.

Norton has been on the Sex Offenders Register since he was convicted of three rapes and detained for three years at Liverpool Crown Court in 2000 when he had just turned 17.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

A non-profit Woodbury theatre company making its mission to engage hard-to-reach child audiences has celebrated the close of its 2018 National Lottery-funded flagship summer show.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

An annual charity golf day held in Budleigh Salterton has raised more than £4,500 for a Hospiscare service which allows patients to remain in their own homes.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

Details of Budleigh Salterton Health and Wellbeing Hub’s involvement in this year’s carnival have been announced.

Read more
Mon, 12:00

A passion for crime fiction has inspired a visually impaired Exmouth author to launch a new creative and multi-sensory online community.

Read more
Mon, 07:00

With winter approaching GPs are advising people consider a flu vaccination

Read more
Sunday, September 23, 2018

Schools and charities offered free tablecloth

Read more
Sunday, September 23, 2018

Woodbury holiday park looks to add static caravans

Read more
Sunday, September 23, 2018

Charity works with people who have learning difficulties, giving them a voice on local issues, and arranging social activities

Read more
Saturday, September 22, 2018

An Exmouth woman has overcome her fears to complete an abseil to raise vital funds for a charity which supported her cousin prior to her death.

Read more
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Take a peek at the brilliant pictures our readers have been sharing for our birds photo challenge.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather



max temp: 18°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Exmouth Journal twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications