Worthing sex offender returns to prison after breaching court order

Stephen Agate from Worthing has been sentenced to three years in prison. Photo: Sussex Police
Stephen Agate from Worthing has been sentenced to three years in prison. Photo: Sussex Police

A registered sex offender from Worthing has been sentenced to three years in prison after breaching a court order not to have contact with children.

Stephen Agate, 37, unemployed, of Wordsworth Road, Worthing, was sentenced to three years imprisonment at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday, April 24, police said.

He had previously pleaded guilty to breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order severely restricting any unsupervised or agreed access to young children and to breaching a lifelong requirement to notify his address to police as a Registered Sex Offender.

Agate had previously been sentenced to four years imprisonment in July 2015 after pleading guilty to causing a girl to engage in sexual activity, according to police.

Agate, who was then living in Burgess Hill, committed sexual offences against her on several occasions, confirmed police.

When he was sentenced in July 2015 he was also given the Sexual Harm Prevention Order to last indefinitely and was made a Registered Sex Offender for life.

He was released from prison on licence in July last year and stayed at a probation-approved address in Worthing.

But he then began to associate with a woman with young daughters, police said.

PC Matt Andrews of the West Sussex VISOR (Violent and Sexual Offender) Unit, said: “His unexplained absence from his approved address was noticed and swiftly followed up and our enquiries led us to where he was staying within a few days.

“He was immediately arrested and returned to prison as well as being charged with these extra offences.

“This investigation, in which we worked with the National Probation Service, shows how action is taken to supervise sexual offenders in the community and to safeguard the public, especially vulnerable adults and children.”

For help on protecting children from sexual exploitation see police advice online.