Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee sex offender admits attack days after release

A convicted sex offender has admitted attacking one of his neighbours just days after being released from prison while being monitored by police.

At the High Court in Dundee Thomas Shannon, 21, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexually assaulting the woman on 12 February this year at his Dundee flat.

Tayside Police had been monitoring Shannon after he was assessed as a "very high risk" offender.

Judge Lord Doherty deferred sentence until 26 October

Thomas Shannon was released from jail on 27 January this year with police launching a multi-agency operation, named "Operation Jubilee" to manage his release.

Covert monitoring

Shannon was placed under surveillance after being assessed as a "very high risk" sex offender - but was placed in a flat in Lochee alongside several other people, unaware of his lengthy record of sex offending.

Police had installed a covert remote listening device in his flat, but none of the monitoring prevented Shannon targeting the woman only two weeks after his release.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, rang Shannon's secure entry buzzer after getting locked out of the building.

Shannon buzzed her in and the police witnessing her on CCTV raced to the scene, but found no trace of her at his address.

Later the woman went to Shannon's door, where he invited her in, commenting on her body.

Changed behaviour

The 21-year-old then told the woman: "I've been in prison for three years - I need a shag."

Advocate depute Gillian Wade told the High Court in Dundee: "Constables were monitoring the covert listening device. The accused's behaviour changed significantly and he began cuddling her, kissing her on the neck and groping her over her clothing."

Miss Wade told how Shannon then exposed himself to the woman, refusing to let her leave until she touched him.

Police heard the woman pleading with Shannon to "leave me alone" and "let me get out" via the listening device.

Shannon was later arrested and interviewed by police, but denied the attack.

Shannon, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexually assaulting the woman on 12 February this year at his flat in Dundee's Lochee area.

He further admitted breaching a sexual offences prevention order made on 26 January, the day before he was released from Polmont YOI.

Judge Lord Doherty deferred sentence until October 26 at the High Court in Edinburgh.

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