May 2022

Ex-officer avoids jail

A retired police inspector from Sunderland has avoided jail after admitting voyeurism against his own stepdaughter

Gerard ‘Ged’ Fairclough, appeared at Durham Crown Court for sentence on Thursday, having admitted four offences covering 20 months, at a previous appearance at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on March 2.

Fairclough, 54, of Chandler’s Road, Monkwearmouth, was formally an officer with Northumbria Police but was not serving at the time the offences were committed.

His offending came to light when when the then teenager got out of her en-suite shower and walked back into her bedroom and spotted the mobile phone hidden behind a hoodie.

When the video was checked Fairclough could be clearly seen setting up the camera, taking a step back to see what he could get in the shot.

The teenager, who is now an adult, called her mother upon finding of the phone and her mum called the police, Fairclough was later arrested.

Judge James Adkin, the Recorder of Durham, sentenced him to a year in prison, suspended for two years, with an order to carry out 220 hours’ unpaid work and complete 30 rehabilitation days.

Fairclough was also made subject to an indefinite restraining order and placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.