23rd June 2011

Gary Peach sentenced after grooming Swanley and New Barn Railway kids

A TRAIN driving paedophile used his rare mini-locomotive to lure youngsters into his clutches.

Gary Peach, aged 23, befriended young boys at Swanley and New Barn Railway club by showing them his 7¼in-gauge model Midland Blue Pullman train, complete with passenger carrying carriages – the only one of its kind in the world.

His behaviour became so worrying police made an application for a sexual offences prevention order to prevent him grooming children.

Since the court action, Peach, a former junior football referee from Wallington, has put his train set up for sale at £21,000. He bought it for £17,000.

Peach, who has convictions for possessing child-sex abuse images dating back to 2007, appeared before Croydon Magistrates’ Court yesterday (June 22).

The court heard he would travel to the club, in Swanley Park, for over-18s open days, which were regularly attended by children.

During this time he befriended some of the junior members, including a 15-year-old boy, whom he emailed at length and signed off “love you”.

He attended railway festivals in Brighton and in Doncaster with the boy. They stayed overnight and he also picked up the boy from school.

In May last year he was stopped by police with five children in the back of his car – four of whom were under 16 – prompting the police to make the order.

A police report said there was a serious risk of sexual harm to mid-teen boys.

A five-year sexual prevention order was made against him yesterday.

Woking Railway Society publicity manager Ron Dewar knows Peach from various railway meetings.

He said: “I can’t believe it. He was popular and everyone got on with him. He gave the children a lift in his train. They really liked him.”

He said the club ran a criminal records bureau check on everyone who brought their trains to the club, and Peach would have been checked.

Mr Dewar said Peach had a team of 13 and 14-year-olds with him who would help him run the train.

He said he understood Peach travelled around the country with them to various events.

In January 2007, Peach was convicted of 13 counts of making child-sex abuse images and was handed a community sentence and placed on the Protection of Children Act and Protection of Vulnerable Adults lists.

Peach had claimed he was teased at school about his small feet and this led him to feeling “insecure” about the size of his penis.

In July 2008, he appealed unsuccessfully against being placed on these lists at a Care Standards Tribunal.