Homeless man failed to sign sex register

A sex offender who was arrested for not giving the police his address was found sleeping rough in a garage, a court heard.

Istvan Lengyei, who does not have a fixed address, was found drunk and asleep on an old mattress in a garage in Dewsbury.

The officers who found him discovered that he was wanted for not signing the sex offenders’ register after he was convicted of two sexual assaults in 2010.

But Leeds Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Lengyei, 43, barely speaks a word of English and did not understand what he had to do to comply with the Sexual Offences Act.

His barrister, Anastasi Tasou, told the court: “The whole process of the last few years has been extremely bewildering.

“I mean him no disrespect when I say that he has not been blessed with the greatest intelligence in the greatest of circumstances.”

Ewan McLachlan, prosecuting, said Lengyei was sentenced to six months in prison for the sexual assaults in May 2010.

Upon his release, he was required to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years under the requirements of the Sexual Offences Act, but was locked up again in 2012 for failing to give the police his address.

When he was released from that prison sentence, he again failed to tell the police where he was living, and was arrested when police found him in the garage on December 23 last year.

Mr McLachlan said: “When he was charged, he responded, ‘When I got out of prison I was asked where I was going and I said Dewsbury. They said the police would contact me.’

“How that was to be achieved if the police did not know where he was residing is unclear.”

Mr Tasou said that when Lengyei was released from prison, the requirements of the Sexual Offences Act were read to him in English.

He said they were then “strictly translated” into his native Hungarian, but it was not explained what they meant in practice.

“These are not deliberate attempts to evade the requirements,” Mr Tasou said. “He certainly has not committed any offences which come close to the seriousness of the of the ones which led to these requirements.”

Lengyei admitted failing to comply with a notification requirement of the Sexual Offences Act at an earlier hearing.

The judge, Mr Recorder Little, gave him a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with a 30 day activity requirement.

He said: “I take into account that you drink heavily and that you have nowhere to live but the notification requirements are those which you must – I stress the word ‘must’ – follow.”*