Ian Willett, 23, a convicted sex offender who fled to the Isle of Wight earlier this week, is back behind bars and has been sentenced to a further 8 months in jail.

Willett, formerly of Nelson Road in Newport, was jailed for 40 months last year for sexual assault, assault and kidnapping. This follows an incident on August 23, 2020 where he attacked a woman at Newport bus station and dragged her towards Church Litten Park. The woman bravely resisted and fled.

After his release from prison, Willett was subject to permit conditions to stay in an approved premises in Waterlooville. In addition, as a condition of his sex offender notification requirements, he was required to notify the police of any change of address within 3 days, including if he had no fixed address, and to register any username online with the police.

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On June 5 this year, he fled his licensed premises and police also determined that he had created usernames online that he had not registered.

Officers conducted inquiries to locate him and on June 15, an appeal went out to the public to help find Willett, as previously reported by Echo of the Island.

Following reports from the community, although his appearance is somewhat different, Willett was arrested on the Isle of Wight on Wednesday and was charged yesterday morning (Thursday) with 2 counts of breaching his sex offender notification requirements.

On top of that, he was called back to prison for violating the terms of his permit, to serve the remainder of his previous sentence.

He appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court yesterday, where he admitted breaches of the notification requirement and was sentenced to an additional 8 months in prison. Willett was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and a victim fine surcharge of £128.

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Acting Detective Inspector Mark Edis said:

“We are very grateful to the local community who supported our efforts to locate Willett after he fled. It was thanks to community tips that we were able to find and arrest him so quickly, hours after a wanted call was made.

“The license conditions and notification requirements are legally binding and are put in place to protect the public by ensuring that individuals do not re-offend. There are of course those individuals, like Willett, who show absolute disregard for it.

“We invest significant resources in the management of sex offenders and the protection of the public, and take this duty very seriously.

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“We hope the swift action taken by the police will reassure the community and that we will do everything to put those who still choose to offend where they belong – in jail.”

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