A serial sex offender has been sentenced to a year behind bars for inappropriately touching a woman.

Devaun Cox, 38, admitted sexually assaulting the woman when he appeared in Magistrates’ Court on September 29.

The court heard that on May 3, Cox told the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, that she was looking “real good” and inappropriately touched her over her clothes.

Cox, who suffers from mental-health challenges, has been behind bars in connection with the offence since May, and reappeared in court yesterday for sentencing.

Magistrate Craig Attridge said that the touch, which Cox called a “love tap”, was still “a violation of another person’s sexual autonomy” and that “people should expect that such an invasion or violation of their personal space will not take place.”

Cox committed this offence less than one week after completing a six-month prison sentence for sexually assaulting a female patient at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute in January 2021.

Kathy-Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutinoal Reform, issued a public notice when Cox was released from Westgate in April 2023.

Debi-Ray Rivers, the executive director of Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, voiced concern when Cox was released because he did not have a listed address.

She said: “A sex offender in the UK would never be homeless in the community, because of their risk. An address should be known to probation and police for life.”

Cox previous convictions date back to 2012, when he was sentenced to six months in prison for intruding on the privacy of a young girl.

He spent three years behind bars for a similar offence in 2013 and was jailed for another three years in 2017 for intruding on a girl’s privacy for a third time. Cox appealed the 2017 conviction, but it was upheld in 2018.

During yesterday’s appearance, Mr Attridge said this history, as well as reports from court staff and a clinician, indicate that Cox is likely to offend and that the public needs to be protected from him as a result.

One report stated that Cox “had very little awareness” of his mental health challenges and “minimises his offending behaviour”.

Mr Attridge ordered Cox to complete 18 months probation after his prison sentence ends.

He also ordered that time already spent in custody be taken into account.

Cox’s probation conditions include refraining from alcohol or drug use, submitting to urine screenings and taking part in any programmes suggested by court staff.

Royal Gazette