February 2022

Blackpool mum only found out new boyfriend was a paedophile when police told her

A woman was left horrified after learning her new partner was a convicted paedophile only when the police came to her house to look for him.

The mum from Blackpool said she felt like her dreams had come true when she met Lee Martin and started a relationship with him.

But unknown to her, Martin, 32, was a convicted child sex offender who had served a five year prison sentence for a serious sexual assault on a child 10 years ago.

Following his release from prison he was subject to strict conditions he must not have any unsupervised contact with children under 16 unless it was approved by social services and the parents were aware of his convictions.

In November last year, officers from Lancashire Police went to Martin’s home in Claremont Court, Blackpool, to check on him. Martin was not at the address and a neighbour informed them he was living with a woman at another location in Blackpool.

When the police attended that address, they found Martin in a parked car outside the premises, claiming he was sleeping rough.

He later confessed he had been living with the woman and her children for a few weeks.

The woman told police she had been in a relationship with Martin and he sometimes stayed at her home. When his flat was badly damaged in a fire she allowed him to move in – but she had no idea of his sordid past, she said.

“The day I met him I had no idea he was a sex offender. He came across as very loving and caring. He asked me personal questions about my children and their fathers,” she told the court.

“He asked me if I had family in Blackpool and had a problem with male friends including my child’s dad. I pushed people away because of him.”

The woman said the relationship moved quickly, with Martin asking her to marry him and have a baby. He also asked to take on a parental role to her children and would take them to school or to the shops to allow her time for herself.

“I felt like my dreams had come true as they needed a father figure in their life,” she said.

Rachel Woods, prosecuting, said there was no suggestion any physical harm had come to the children while they were in Martin’s care.

However he breached the terms of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) by spending time with the young family.

The woman said: “I feel Lee saw me as an easy target. I was a single mum with no family around. I feel like he took advantage of me. I feel like I was brainwashed and always think what he could have done to them if I had allowed him more access.”

Martin pleaded guilty to breach of the SHPO and two breaches of the notification requirements which oblige him to inform the police of any change of address.

He appeared via videolink at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.

Recorder Jones, sentencing, said: “You duped this woman in every way. You gave her the impression of being a caring and decent individual who would look after her and her children.

“I stress that no harm of a physical nature came to them. Had that been the case you would be here for more serious matters but the degree of the breach of trust is best summarised by the fact you wished to become their stepfather.

“Their trust has been completely destroyed by your lies and manipulation. Your intentions may have been genuine but you did not give them the truth they deserved.”