Child stalker Margaret Dodds on supervision after offering babysitting services

Repeat park child stalker Margaret Mabel Dodds is back on supervision after being found watching children and then trying tto offer babysitting services to their parents.

The 63-year-old has been attending a Stop programme for sex offenders, but was found twice last month in a Christchurch park putting up babysitting flyers in breach of a trespass order.

After admitting a trespass charge at the Christchurch District Court today, she was placed on supervision for nine months.

Margaret Dodds has again appeared in the Christchurch District Court.
STACY SQUIRES/STUFFMargaret Dodds has again appeared in the Christchurch District Court.

Police said Dodds was trespassed from a Cashmere park for two years in April 2017, and when they arrived at about 4pm on January 20 she was sitting on a park bench watching children.

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She was removed and told not to return, but she was found there again on January 21, this time attempting to talk to children.

Margaret Dodds leaving court in March 2014.
KIRK HARGREAVESMargaret Dodds leaving court in March 2014.

She told police that she couldn’t help herself, and was doing nothing wrong, but she has a long history of following and trying to talk to children.

Dodds has one conviction for assaulting a child in 2014. Defence counsel Nicola Pointer said Dodds was attending a Stop programme that she enrolled in herself last October.

She said Dodds had tried hard and didn’t want to lose momentum with her treatment. Pointer said Dodds apologised to police and members of the public for causing concern and upset.

Community Magistrate Simon Heale said Dodds had previously received prison sentences for this type of offending, but acknowledged she could not complete community-based sentences because of her mental health issues.

He said she now had sufficient insight to seek assistance herself with on-going fortnightly session, but this offending occurred after she had commenced the programme, so the nine months’ supervision was to assist her.

She is to attend any rehabilitation programmes recommended by her parole officer.

Dodds has been a long-term resident at the Seager Clinic, an inpatient mental health service at Princess Margaret Hospital.

She has been trespassed from buses, malls, and many public facilities, and messages have often been posted on social media warning about her activities when she has been sighted.

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