Sex offender from South Shields moved in with girlfriend's family but failed to tell of his sickening past

A sex offender who moved in with a family and had regular contact with young children while keeping his sickening past a secret has been jailed.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 5:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 8:00 pm

Lewis Geary was put on the sex offenders register in 2014 for making and possessing indecent photographs of children.

As a result of the convictions, the Pizza Hut worker had to abide by the terms of a sexual offences prevention order designed to control his contact with children.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard despite the restrictions on his freedom, the 24-year-old secretly moved into his girlfriend's family home and failed to inform the authorities.

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Sex offender Lewis Geary from South Shields moved in with girlfriend's family but failed to tell of his sickening past

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court during Geary's 18-month stay with her parents, he came into regular contact with young children.

His girlfriend's mother knew nothing about his criminal past, but the court heard the couple are still together.

A mum of one of the children who frequently visited the house said in a statement that the dishonesty has had a "devastating" effect and ruined long term friendships.

She said: "This is all due to the lies Geary has told."

Mr Pallister said parents whose children had visited the house were "shocked and distressed" to find out the truth about Geary's past.

The mums and dads said they would "never" have allowed Geary to have unsupervised contact with their children if they had known the truth about him.

Judge Stephen Earl sentenced Geary to 32 months behind bars with a ten-year sexual harm prevention order and sex offender registration.

The judge told him: "I cannot say too highly, this is one of the worst significant breaches of the order, not through new offending, that I have seen.

"You were under the radar, the police didn't know where you were truly living and didn't know to whom you had access.

"The parents of the children didn't know a sex offender had access to their children.

"It is not about whether you were doing anything to the children, it is about the risk you posed to the children by virtue of your status as a sex offender."

Judge Earl said Geary spent a "significant period bypassing a whole regime designed to protect people".

Geary, of Wenlock Road, South Shields, admitted failing to comply with sex offer derby notification requirements by failing to inform the authorities about his change of address.

He also admitted two breaches of a sexual offences prevention order by failing to disclose he had Playstation consoles at his new home and by having contact with children under 16.

Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Geary was naive and embarrassed about his convictions.

She added: "He accepts when he moved in with her parents and he had contact with various children he didn't tell the parents, or the children's parents, about his convictions."

Miss Coxon said Geary had been welcomed into the family with "open arms" but had not been honest in return.

She said Geary had been "socially isolated" at the time of the original offences and had low self esteem which led to excessive drinking.