A convicted rapist has been fined £1,000 after he set up a forbidden bank account while trying to tackle fraudsters.
Sean Melville, who was jailed and put on the Sex Offenders Register in 2012 for a brutal attack on a West Lothian woman, failed to notify police about his new account, which he claims was set up accidentally.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court was told that the 45-year-old had an account which police were aware of but fell foul of the restrictions imposed on him after he was targeted by scammers.
Sex Offender notification requirements
Fiscal depute Matt Piskorz said: “In June 2012, the accused was convicted of rape at the High Court in Edinburgh and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
“He was made the subject of the notification requirements and as part of this he’s legally required to tell police of any new bank account.
“In November 2020, police intelligence showed that the accused was linked to a number of accounts.
“Checks showed the accused had failed to disclose as required. Police attended at his home address and he stated to them he had a new bank card and didn’t realise he would have to notify of a new card.”
Melville’s solicitor said the issue had occurred as he tried to fix issues with his existing account.
He told the court: “He was recalled (to prison) in August 2016 and thereafter released on July 21 2020.
“He was recalled for failing to notify of a new partner and that cost him another three years.
“There was fraudulent activity on his account and he was trying to rectify it. He tried to upgrade his account online. This gave him access to facilities including live chat. That was his intention.
“He didn’t appreciate it was a further account until the new card came. When he saw it he realised this was a new account and accepts he should have notified.”
He said that Melville had been suffering stress and had been given medication by his doctor that made him forgetful, which is why he had forgotten to register the account with police.
He added that Melville had kept up with all the other requirements placed on him by the order.
Fining him £1,000, Sheriff Neil Bowie told him: “Given the history of your release from prison and recall for failure to notify of a new partner, I would have thought it would be at the fore front of your mind but the circumstances are certainly different.”
Melville, of Atholl Terrace, Kirkcaldy, admitted failing to comply with notification requirements by having a bank account and a debit card at his home address between October 1 and November 26 last year.
Melville was jailed for a brutal three-and-a-half hour attack on a woman he had met on an internet dating site.
During the assault he repeatedly stopped to ask his victim if she was afraid. Afterwards he claimed his drinks had been spiked.
The woman reported the then-35-year-old to the police after discovering he was still using the website.