A judge has banned a dangerous sex offender from having "one-night-stands" because of his violent history towards women.

Richard Ford, 41, from New Road, Croxley Green, was told by Judge John Plumstead that he must refuse any "offers on a plate" as unsuspecting women would not be aware of his background.

The restrictions on his future relationships were put in place after Ford appeared in St Albans crown court this week for failing to notify police of a change of address which he was required to do because his name was on the sex offenders register and he was also the subject of a Sexual Offence Prevention Order.

The furious judge said the situation was exasperated by Ford breaking a restraining order.

The Judge said: "He has a history of violence towards women and children and has possessed images of sadism and torture. He is an extremely concerning man.

"He is not allowed to take advantage of a one night stand offered on a plate by someone who doesn't know his background. He is not allowed to form relationships until probation know who with. The choice is that or jail - hard luck."

He ordered that Ford is not allowed to stay at a woman's house, have a woman stay at his house, or stay elsewhere with a woman, unless the probation officer knows her name and address beforehand.

He said: "Until this man sorts out whatever it is going on his head that makes him behave as he does, I have concerns about the danger he represents. I am going to defer the sentence so he can continue to make progress on his order. I want monthly updates on this man.

"It is crucial that he does not enter any relationships with anybody at all without the knowledge of his probation.

"His past of cruelty to children and violence to women is troubling.

"If he enters a relationship where there are already children, the public duty will be to inform the children's family and schools so that appropriate steps can be taken to safeguard them."

The Judge decided not to send him to prison, but said he would force restrictions on his relationships to ensure the safety of women and children.

Deferring sentence he told Ford: "If you do not make the progress I expect I will bring you back and sentence you to as long as I can without troubling the court of appeal."