Tayside and Central Scotland

Sex offender Darren Mitchell faces life sentence

A known sex offender has been told by a judge he faces a life sentence after he lured a teenager to his home for sex.

Darren Mitchell, from Angus, approached the 13-year-old girl in Arbroath in January before taking her to his flat and offering her alcohol.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mitchell committed the offence just 16 days after being freed from prison.

He was previously convicted in March 2012 for a similar offence against another 13-year-old girl.

On that occasion, the court heard how Mitchell and his twin brother Nathan met the teenager at a bus stop in Kirriemuir before luring her back to their home.

Surveillance operation

Darren Mitchell had sex with the girl before telling her that his brother was feeling "left out". Nathan Mitchell then had sex with the girl.

When police arrived at the house after the girl's mother reported her missing, the teenager was found hiding in a bedroom cupboard.

Darren Mitchell had been previously banned from using a library in Brechin after being caught watching pornography on a computer at the learning centre.

He was freed on 10 January 2013 after having served 50% of his sentence.

The court heard that social workers had assessed Mitchell at being of a "very high risk of re-offending" and police launched a covert surveillance operation called Operation Elliot to monitor his movements.

He was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which aimed to restrict his ability to meet and exploit vulnerable young women.

However, the court was told that on 26 January, Mitchell approached another 13-year-old girl in Arbroath and lured her back to his flat before offering her alcohol.

Mitchell, a prisoner of HMP YOI Polmont, pleaded guilty to breaching the Sexual Offences Prevention Order at court in April and the case was referred to the High Court for sentencing.

On Tuesday, Lord Pentland said that he felt there was a legal requirement for Mitchell to be assessed for an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

Those who are made subjects of an Order for Lifelong Restriction can only be released into the community once the court rules they no longer pose a threat to public safety.

Lord Pentland will decide on whether or not to impose the order on 28 November.

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