Northern Ireland news

High risk sex-offender who dressed as a woman in school jailed

Geoffrey Rainey Kelly was jailed for four months

A CONVICTED sex offender caught wandering the corridors of a Co Tyrone school dressed as a woman has been jailed.

Geoffrey Rainey Kelly (35) from Lakeview Crescent, Fivemiletown, committed the offence at St Ciaran's College in Ballygawley in June.

A judge deemed it as "a premeditated action to gain entry" to the school.

A defence lawyer described Kelly as "a complicated character, who is entitled to dress as he likes but not behave as he does."

Kelly had been remanded in custody since first appearing at Dungannon Magistrates Court last month, where bail was refused.

The behaviour breached a previously imposed Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), which bans Kelly coming within 20m of schools or similar facilities.

Dungannon Magistrates' Court heard police were called to St Ciaran's College on the afternoon of June 17 after staff spotted Kelly wearing women's clothes and a blonde wig, walking along school corridors, having gained entry by a side door.

He was trying door handles to rooms, but did not enter.

On being confronted by staff, he claimed to be looking for a third-year female pupil, providing a name. The school register was checked and no child of that name was found.

Kelly left in a vehicle which police later found at Ballygawley Park and Ride. He was seated in the driver seat, wearing clothes as described by staff - a white skirt and pink jacket, with a string of pearls around his neck, as well as the blond wig.

When questioned by police Kelly accepted being at the school but claimed he was "just looking around.”

He was arrested and during interview claimed to remember nothing. During a second interview the following day he told police he had travelled to Omagh to pick up a hired car, but had no further recall beyond that.

He was shown CCTV footage, and while accepting the person in this looked like him, still insisted he had no recall.

Kelly was previously convicted of sexually assaulting women on two separate occasions, in 2016 and 2017.

On one of those occasions he was also wearing women's clothing.

He also has a conviction for indecent exposure to a teenager in 2017.

Pre-sentence reports were obtained which the defence conceded showed Kelly "lacks understanding.”

Noting Kelly is considered highly likely to reoffend, District Judge John Meehan remarked" “He repeat assertions of not remembering and claims that’s someone else’s fault, not his.”

Addressing Kelly directly, the judge said, “This was a premediated action at a school. You were trying door handles to gain entry to premises you are banned from being in or near.

"You present a risk. But you are not paying attention to the SOPO and the risk remains.”

Handing down a four-month prison sentence Judge Meehan said it was "necessary to protect the public.”

 

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