Serial South Shields sex fiend who changed his name to hide his sordid past is back behind bars after attacking woman in her home

Gregg Southers
Gregg Southers

A serial sex fiend who was living under a different identity attacked a woman after he smashed his way into her home then lay in wait for her to return.

Gregg Southers, who was formally known as Greg Carnall, was jailed in 2009 for sexual assaults on four women, at a hospital and in pub toilets, but changed his name to hide his true identity after his release.

Since then, the 30-year-old, set up his own residential building firm, has committed offences of violence against women and started relationships under the assumed identity.

At Newcastle Crown Court, the serial attacker has now been jailed for five years, with a four year extended licence period and lifelong registration as a sex offender by a judge who said Southers is a risk to the public.

Southers, formerly from South Shields, had denied sexual assault on the woman, who thought he was "going to kill her" when he got into her home in July last year then attacked and sexually assaulted her, but was found guilty by a jury.

Judge Paul Sloan QC told him: "You have a history of violence and sexual offending towards woman.

"This offending falls within that pattern, using violence and sexual offending to exert dominance and control over women."

Judge Sloan said he Southers poses a "high risk of committing further sexual offences" and a high risk of causing harm to the public.

The court heard prosecutors may apply for a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which would ban the serial offender from changing his name again.

Prosecutor Robin Patton told the court Southers took on his new name after he was released from prison and added: "When he came out from that sentence, in order to disguise his offending from anyone who may have been media or social media savvy to find out about his past, he changed his name in order to prevent people from doing that.

"By changing his name to a name that doesn't come up on Google for anything apart from the new business, he had allowed himself to form relationships with women and placed them at risk."

Mr Patton said such an order could prevent Southers from "going out on a Saturday night with a new name or going to the home of people as a residential builder and becoming involved with females at those houses or nightclubs".

Mr Patton warned Southers could now "choose a new name to prevent them from finding out his past".

Judge Sloan said a separate hearing would be needed if prosecutors are to pursue the no name-change application, which Southers' defence team objects to.

Southers had been jailed for three years in 2009 for attacks on a patient and a nurse at a hospital and on two women at a pub in South Shields, who he dragged into the toilets.

Following his release, he has been convicted of common assault, two offences of battery, failure to comply with notification requirements and harassment.

The court heard Southers, now of Jones Street, Birtley, continues to deny the latest sexual assault.

Jane Foley, defending, said Southers changed his name "for business purposes and for his family's welfare".

Miss Foley said Southers has sought professional help to deal with personal issues.