A Skegness pensioner, who is subject to the Sex Offenders’ Register, flew to China with his dead wife’s ashes just six weeks after she had died, and at the same time had arranged to meet another Chinese woman there as a possible ‘new bride’.
Robert Ethan Lee, 67, of Roman Bank, admitted failing to notify the police about his trip to China in November last year and also failing to tell them about two new bank accounts and debit cards, which he was obliged to report under the terms of the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Marie Stace, prosecuting, said Lee, then known as Barry Shippey, had been convicted of sex crimes in Teeside in February 2012 and was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 15 years.
She said that he was released from prison in June 2017 and went to live at Skegness under the name of Lee and had been advised then, and on several other occasions, what he was required to do under the terms of the Register.
She said police then became aware that he had flown to China to take his wife’s ashes back to her parents following her death from pancreatic cancer in September.
She said he admitted this to police as well as failing to tell them about his new bank accounts which had been put into his name from his wife’s business.
He told them he had arranged to meet a potential new Chinese bride while he was there disposing of his wife’s ashes but it had not worked out because ‘he wasn’t rich enough’ and so had returned to the UK early.
He also told them he had another girlfriend in Peru. Ms Stace said Lee had been given a suspended prison sentence in 2017 which had now expired, although it was still in force at the time the offences had been committed.
Philippa Chatterton, mitigating, said Lee accepted he had breached the otification requirements but he had ‘not been persistently breaching’ them.
She said he had nursed his wife until her death, when her HSBC bank accounts were transferred into his name and also opened a TSB account which was to enable him to access money following his wife’s passing.
She said he had not been trying to hide anything from the police and that it had never been suspected he had done this to commit offences.
Ms Chatterton said Lee’s wife wanted her ashes to be returned to China and that he had planned to ‘see another lady’ while he was there but as it didn’t work out, he had come home early.
The magistrates sentenced Lee to eight weeks imprisonment but suspended it for a year and ordered him to undergo 20 days of rehabilitation activity days.
He was also ordered to pay £200 in costs and charges.