Northern Ireland

St Ciaran's College: Sex offender dressed as woman in school jailed

Dungannon Magistrates' Court
Image caption Kelly was sentenced at Dungannon Magistrates' Court

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

Geoffrey Rainey Kelly, 35, from Lakeview Crescent, Fivemiletown, committed the offence in June.

A judge deemed it as "a premeditated action."

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

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, Ballygawley, 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.

'Just looking around'

When he was confronted by staff, Kelly claimed to be looking for a third year female pupil, providing a name.

The school register was checked and no child with that name was found.

Kelly left in a vehicle, which police later found at Ballygawley Park & Ride.

He was seated in the driver's seat, wearing clothes as described by school staff - a white skirt and pink jacket, with a string of pearls around his neck, as well as the blonde wig.

On being questioned, Kelly accepted being at the school, claiming he was "just looking around."

He was arrested and when questioned further by officers he claimed to remember nothing.

A second interview was conducted the following day, in which he told police he had travelled to Omagh to pick up a hire car, but had no further recall beyond that.

He was shown CCTV footage and while accepting the person in it looked like him, stuck to his original story.

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.