May 2022

Man who assaulted schoolgirls branded ‘a danger to children’

A 53-year-old former Waldringfield man who sexually assaulted three young schoolgirls has been jailed for nine years by a judge who described him as a “danger to children”.

During his sentencing hearing Geoffrey Lewis, who was appearing at Ipswich Crown Court via a prison video link, appeared to faint while a victim impact statement was being read to the court and the hearing had to be adjourned briefly while he was seen by a nurse.

Lewis, formerly of School Lane, Waldringfield, had denied four offences of sexual assault of a child under 13, one offence of sexual activity with a child and taking an indecent image of a child but changed his pleas to guilty to the charges during his trial in February.

The offences were committed over a four-year period between 2013 and 2017.

On Monday (May 30) Lewis was jailed for nine years with an extended licence period of five years and banned from contacting the three victims indefinitely.

He was also made the subject of a lifelong sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

Judge Emma Peters described Lewis as a “danger to children” and said he would have to serve at least six years in custody before the parole board could consider if it was safe to release him.

In a statement, the father of one of the victims attacked Lewis’s  “lack of courage, moral integrity and remorse” and criticised him for only pleading guilty to the offences after the three victims had given evidence.

During the trial, the court heard that Lewis, now of Briton Way, Wymondham, had touched the girls on their breasts and inside their underwear and had taken a picture of one of them in a shower without her knowledge.

He told one of the girls, who was 14, that she was “beautiful” and had put his hand inside her underwear.

He had also touched her breasts while she was playing a computer game and on another occasion, he’d touched her bottom and between her legs over her clothing while appearing to film what he was doing.

Lewis had also sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl by trying to put his hand in her underwear.