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'Bizarre' breaches of Asbo end in jail
A MAN who has spent a decade pinning banknotes to park benches for schoolgirls to pick up has been jailed once more.
Stuart McGhie was first given an Antisocial Behaviour Order (Asbo) in 2002 after a spate of seven incidents in which he left notes and messages to children around Oxford.
The order prohibited the 42-year-old from “seeking contact or communication” with under-18s and “allowing banknotes to fall on surfaces”.
But he has since admitted breaching the Asbo 18 times and was back at Oxford Crown Court on Friday for the latest offences, which took place on October 10.
Prosecutor Jonathan Stone said McGhie, who was jailed for 15 months in October 2010, left a note on a bench at a bus stop near the Jolly Postboys pub, close to Florence Park, Oxford.
The note, which read ‘Text for cash’ and gave a mobile number, was picked up at 12.30pm by a 12-year-old schoolgirl who sent a message to the number.
She was then instructed by McGhie, of Church Cowley Road, Oxford, to go to two benches in Florence Park which each had a single £10 note taped to them.
Mr Stone said the girl had repeated contact with McGhie through texts and calls before the police were informed by her parents.
He added: “It is an unusual case because the Asbo was back in 2002. There have been numerous breaches of that order, but things have never become ‘hands on’.
“I think the fear with this defendant has always been what might happen, but what might happen hasn’t happened in the previous 10 years.”
He continued: “It’s a case that has a sinister side to it as well as young children thinking this is all a bit of a joke.”
Jennifer Edwards, defending, said: “There’s no overt record of any distress that this child has suffered.
“She does say ‘I have never met the male and I didn’t know who he is, he has never given me a name’.
“Since July 2002 the only offences he has committed are breaches of the Asbo.
“This Asbo is indefinite and, of course, the worry has always been – and the courts have tried to address this – how can we stop him behaving in this way?
“There’s no good putting him on the sex offender programme because it simply doesn’t match his offending.”
Recorder Niall Quinn jailed McGhie for two and a half years and told him: “You’re 42 years of age and for 10 years you have been engaged in a course of bizarre, sinister conduct towards young girls around the age of 12 and 14.
“I’m presented with a tension – doing what might be best for you and what might be best for the young female population of Oxford and elsewhere.”