A sex offender who confessed to having sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl and then fled to France was yesterday (Monday) jailed for four-and-a-half years at Lincoln Crown Court.
Ian Proud was described as being “in turmoil” after telling his wife what he had done.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that Proud’s wife told him to leave their home in Bourne after he made his confession.
Proud then disappeared and was reported to police as a missing person.
But later he rang his wife from France, coincidentally while a police officer was speaking to her about her missing husband.
Mr Scott told the court that the phone was handed to the officer who persuaded Proud to return to the UK.
Proud was subsequently arrested as soon as he arrived at Dover on the ferry from Calais.
He repeated his confession to police and it was only afterwards that officers spoke to the victim, who then confirmed what had happened.
Proud (40), of Daisy Court, Bourne, admitted three charges of sexual activity with a child and a further charge of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The offences occurred between January 31 and April 1 this year.
As well as being jailed, he was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him: “You were the adult and you were 40. She was 13. You knew full well you should not have been doing this.”
Mark Watson, defending, said that Proud had lost his home and his marriage as a result of what happened.
He told the court: “Going to France was not to avoid capture by the police. It was because he was in turmoil.
“He was only very briefly in France. While he was there the officer was at their home speaking to his wife. She handed the phone to the officer and the officer persuaded him to come back.”
Mr Watson said that Proud had no previous convictions of any sort and was remorseful for what happened.